Punkin Water advisory board making plans

Published 12:38 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Advisory board members for the Punkin Water Association hope to take advantage of Lafayette County’s CARES Act funding to help improve the water system.

Glynn Ingram, retired technology executive and representative of the PWA’s advisory board, told association board members on Monday the board is actively working to help the association make better informed decisions. The advisory board members include a banker, a geologist and PWA Vice President Tom Lincoln and an engineer.

Ingram said the board will help PWA look for funding, find filtration options and water sources and help PWA in communication.

“We’re going to need to do a lot of things to Punkin Water,” Ingram said. “We’re going to need new filtering. We’re going to need more storage and we’ll need more capacity.”

PWA has the option of drilling new wells elsewhere and bringing new water into the system or investing in a filter, but the advisory board’s financial analysis will determine which is the best option for the association.

The advisory board recently met with Lafayette County supervisors Mike Roberts, Brent Larson and Larry Gillespie to discuss PWA’s desire to share in the $10.5 million federal funding which will be provided to the county. 

The county has $5.2 million in the bank but the supervisors are waiting for directions and a mechanism to distribute the funds. According to Ingram, the money can be used for COVID-19 relief and capital investments, which could help the PWA improve its infrastructure.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, PWA Board President Jason Butts said water loss declined from 26% to 25% over the past month. Administrators have yet to find any major leaks and encourage the public to report any leaks they spot in their area to prevent any further loss.

The board discussed extending the deadline on an order for a water leak detection report due by Oct. 15. PWA is working in conjunction with Mississippi Rural Water on the detection survey to find the meters in the association’s system.

Approximately 50 meters have not been identified since multiple can be found in one location, but PWA believes the rest will be found soon and water usage will level out for Punkin water customers.

The Punkin Water Association updated the public on their efforts to decrease water leakage in their system and received an update on the advisory board’s set goals for the association’s future.

Board President Jason Butts stated the month’s water loss percentage is down one point from last month’s 26% water loss to 25%, an acceptable range of water loss. Punkin has yet to mind any major leaks and encourages the public to report any leaks they spot in their area to prevent any further loss.

The board discussed extending the deadline on an order for a water leak detection report due by Oct. 15 with consultation from the PWA attorney Mark Woods. PWA is working in conjunction with Mississippi Rural Water on the detection survey to find the meters in the association’s system.

Approximately 50 meters have not been identified since multiple can be found in one location, but PWA believes the rest will be found soon and water usage will level out for Punkin water customers.

Butts said the progress the association has made in the past couple of months should be substantial evidence in their favor, but they will consult with the MRW about the issue.

Glynn Ingram, retired technology executive and representative of the PWA’s advisory board, announced the board’s goals to help PWA make informed decisions. The advisory board includes a banker, a geologist and PWA Vice President Tom Lincoln, an engineer to establish a strong connection to the association.

Ingram said the board will help PWA look for funding, find filtration options and water sources and help PWA in communication.

“We’re going to need to do a lot of things to Punkin water,” said Ingram. “We’re going to need new filtering. We’re going to need more storage and we’ll need more capacity.”

PWA has the option of drilling new wells elsewhere and bringing new water into the system or investing in a filter, but the advisory board’s financial analysis will determine which is the best option for the association.

The advisory board recently met with Lafayette County supervisors Mike Roberts, Brent Larson and Larry Gillespie to discuss PWA’s desire to participate in the $10.5 million grant process being granted by the federal government. 

The county has $5.2 million in the bank but the supervisors are waiting on a decision from the government on how to use the funds and have to find a mechanism to distribute them. According to Ingram, the grant money can be used for COVID-19 relief and capital investments.

He said the process should come into fruition by next year and that PWA should stay involved in order to bring in association members at a later date.