Area associations deal with freezing water, low temps

Published 6:00 am Monday, January 11, 2010

When the weather gets below freezing, water turns to ice.

That proved to be a problem for local water companies, as lowsin the teens and single digits over the weekend had pipes freezingand bursting all over the area.

Topisaw Creek Water Association Manager Tonya Watts said theirproblems began Saturday night and crews are still working to rightthe issues that have affected their service area.

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“I think it’s just too much at one time,” she said. “This coldweather is wreaking havoc on us. We have weather like this, but notfor this long a time span. Usually it dips down but then it goesback up to 40 the next day.”

Watts said Topisaw workers were out all weekend dealing withpipes that had burst and frozen. Some people had low waterpressure, and some people’s water was out completely.

“It just got that cold,” she said. “Here in Mississippi we’renot equipped for that. It’s not normal, we’re not used to it, andwe’re praying it’ll warm up enough to kind of smooth thingsout.”

Topisaw’s problems were widespread, Watts said, and were stillbeing resolved Monday morning, but they were not the only watercompany that experienced glitches in the system.

Lincoln Rural Water had some low pressure and a broken line inthe Heuck’s Retreat area, said Operator Anson Brewer.

“We had a little bit of electrical problems and a line broken,”he said. “We had some outage, but we’re all right.”

Brewer said the issues have been fixed as of Monday morning, butthat he couldn’t estimate how many people were affected by theproblems.

“It’s hard to say,” he said.

Wesson’s city water department had a frozen gauge that left somecitizens with low water pressure Friday night, but City Clerk LindaDykes said they did not experience any further issues through theweekend.

And Bogue Chitto Water Association had some servicemen cuttingoff some water for people who had leaks as a courtesy, but none ofthose leaks have yet been on their system, said Waterworks OperatorNathan Avants.

“Haven’t had any problems yet,” he said, explaining that theirlines are carefully maintained and checked. “We’ve been keeping itup, most of our stuff we keep lights on and keep it insulated andcheck it every day. But really we’re just lucky, I guess.”

Brookhaven city water department officials did not return phonecalls seeking comment.

Water department officials said residents can keep an eye ontheir own water by just checking the water meters and listening andwatching for leaks.

“On the meter there’s a leak indicator, if it’s turning, it’s asign there’s water going somewhere,” Watts said.

Meanwhile, the phone keeps ringing, she said.

“We do have an answering service, and they took the majority ofthe calls for the weekend, but people still find out your number athome,” Watts said.