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Commissioner to hold Punkin Water hearing today

Punkin Water Association customers with ongoing concerns about water quality will have the chance to share those at today’s public hearing.

Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley will hold another public hearing to address concerns and complaints at 6 p.m. July 12 at the Lafayette County Courthouse, Courtroom No. 1.

PWA customers have been lodging complaints about water quality with the organization since 2016.

The Public Service Commissioner previously held two public hearings to allow customers to issue complaints on the poor water quality and management: one in April 2018 and the other in August 2020. 

In 2018, the PSC found that the PWA was not fulfilling its duty of providing its customers with safe drinking water and ordered the association to fix its problems by the end of the year.

At a public hearing in May 2018 customers exhibited samples of discolored jars of water and water filters. 

Former president of PWA John Davis stated at that hearing that efforts were being made to remedy the issues but it would come at the cost of higher rates. PWA engineer Mike Faulkner said then that 250,000 gallons of water was being purchased to flush rust out of the pipes.

However in July 2018, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors voted to impose a moratorium on PWA and new advancements including the sale of the water until the issues were fixed.

The sale of water went through in 2019 after the Oxford Board of Alderman approved the resolution under the LCBS’s conditions that the termination notice be written a year in advance and the PWA to build their supply lines at their own cost. 

At the August 2020 public hearing held by the PSC, Presley issued an order to the PWA to fix its problems by the end of the year.

Citizens with comments or concerns will be able to speak publicly as witnesses and have their words placed on the official record of the case before the Public Service Commission.