Is your water murky? Check your tank

Published 7:26 pm Thursday, March 5, 2020

Before blaming your water issues on the city, you may want to check your own hot water tank.

That was the issue recently when someone in Ward 4 of the city took to social media to criticize the city’s water supply, something Brookhaven Public Works Director Keith Lewis takes seriously.

Turns out, the city’s water quality is just fine. The homeowner’s hot water tank — filled with sediment, which turned the hot water brown — was not.

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The Brookhaven Water Department takes samples of its water at several locations throughout the city each month and sends those to the health department for testing.

“We get the results back in about three days,” said Lewis said. “When we get a complaint about dirty water, we take samples at that location, just to be on the safe side. We take water quality very seriously.”

If any problems are discovered, residents are immediately notified and boiled water alerts are issued.

“If I ever get a complaint about the water, I call the water department and they go above and beyond to find out what the problem is,” said Jason Snider, Ward 4 alderman.

When Snider saw the complaint on Facebook, he contacted the water department, which went to the resident’s home and took water samples.

“They run the hot water and the cold water, and when the cold water runs clear and the hot water does not, they can tell there’s an issue with the water heater,” Snider said.

In addition to a dirty hot water heater, Lewis said the issue is often old, galvanized pipes found in older homes.

Experts report draining about a quarter of the water in your hot water heater several times each year is necessary to clear sediment collecting in your hot water heater. CenterPoint Energy recommends calling a plumber to perform this maintenance if you have an older hot water heater that hasn’t been maintained.  An older hot water heater already may have scale deposit is that make it impossible to completely close the drain valve after draining water from the tank.

In any event, the best way to get a quick response if you have an issue with your water is to call the city’s water department with your complaint, rather than posting it on social media.

“Facebook is not the place to get an immediate response,” Snider said. “If you are having any kind of problem, you can call my cell phone at 601-695-8123 or text me or shoot me an email at”

Residents can reach the city’s water department by calling 601-833-7721.

Story by Jan Griffey