Bayou View neighbors upset over tap water troubles

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There's a long list of boil water notices on The City of Gulfport's city website. But so many calls and emails to our newsroom about water shut offs and brown, smelly water sent us out to Bayou View where most of the complaints seem to be coming from.

"It smelled atrocious," said Christine Preston, who lives in Bayou View.

She said the brown water coming from her faucet has her very worried, even though city officials say it's just because of silt in the lines due to fire hydrant work.

"I seriously doubt that, not way it smelled. It smelled atrocious; it smelled like raw sewerage is what is smelled like."

But Public Works Director Wayne Miller said that's not the case.

"The discoloration was a result of sediment in the pipes that was disturbed with the increase in water flow during improvements to our water system infrastructure, while we have been replacing non-functioning fire hydrants," Miller said.

Miller also said boil water notices are posted on the city website: Some people say when they called the city, they were told automated phone messages went out.

But, Susanne Garriga said she didn't know about the boil water notice until she called the city about her cloudy water. Five hours later, a notice showed up on her door.

"They could have done it sooner," Garriga said, "to let us know there might be a problem."

"I am very angry, frustrated and upset," Bayou View resident Elizabeth Baird said.

Baird told WLOX News she never received a notice to boil her water. She also said her neighbor's whole family is sick and they believe it's from fecal coliform in their water.

"My neighbor's children have pink eye, upset stomachs, their dog got Parvo. It's bad, it's just really bad."

City officials tell us that fire hydrant lines are in no way connected to waste water lines. Still, these neighbors don't believe their brown water was harmless.

"No, I seriously doubt that it's just mud," Christine Preston said. "I've been in the hospital setting; I've worked around it. You know when you smell human waste. You know it."

The current Boil Water Notice in the Bayou View area will be in effect until at least Wednesday, July 10th.

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