UPDATE: Boil water alert lifted

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Abbeville officials got an all-clear today from the Mississippi State Department of Health informing them the water system is once again safe to drink. The MSDH also lifted the precautionary boil water alert for Turner Springs Water Association and Anchor Water System.

Routine sampling done last week indicated the presence of coliform bacteria, causing town officials and the MSDH to issue a boil water alert on Friday. Folks who receive their drinking water from Turner Springs Water Association also had to issue a boil water alert since they receive their provider is the town of Abbeville Water Association. More than 600 customers have been affected by the boil water alert.

Mayor Scott Fricker said new water samples were sent Monday to the MSDH and “hopefully they will let us know something by 3 p.m.” today.

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“Through the course of doing regular samples, there was apparently a bad water sample in the batch,” Fricker said. “When that happens, state regulations require you issue a boil water notice.”

Making progress

Town officials have been in the process of upgrading the water system since they took it over in July 2014.

A more than $300,000 community development block grant will be used to connect additional residents to the water system, as well as upgrade the lines of the current system, which is at least 40 years old.

Meanwhile, officials are also improving the north wellhouse of the system.

Currently, Abbeville pays AT&T a monthly $250 fee to operate the water system through phone communications that have been sporadic. Bad weather has been known to disrupt the system, causing officials to operate the system manually. According to Fricker, the town is spending $12,000 to install a radio communication system that is expected to not only solve the problem, but also rid them of the monthly fee to AT&T.

“The radio part should be complete by Wednesday and the electrical part sometime after that,” Fricker said. “We hope to eliminate the communication issue. We’re making progress.”

A third water system in Lafayette County, Anchor Water System – which services more than 2,000 customers – has also been under a boil water alert since Friday.