MLGW pumping station issue turns city water brown

MEMPHIS, TENN. -- At Magnolia Terrace, a low-income senior housing complex on North 3rd Street in Uptown, brownish-tinted water flows from 75-year-old Maeola Anderson Cox’s faucet.

"When I took my shower, I didn’t notice," she said.

Other people who live in Uptown and in the South Main Arts District complained about the same thing on social media.

And people hoping for a nice Sunday brunch at Sunrise Memphis on Jefferson Avenue in the Medical District were instead turned away when the popular restaurant was forced to close its doors over the problem.

"We were coming here ‘cause it’s part of Memphis Flyers’ bests restaurants, so we were super excited to check it out and it’s closed because apparently they have water problems, which is kinda gross," said Shannon Jensen.

MLGW says an equipment issue at its 94-year-old Mallory Pumping Station is to blame, turning the water in its distribution system that unappetizing brownish color.

They say crews isolated the issue and are flushing the system which will hopefully clear up the water. They also say people who still notice discolored water should reach out to their call center to have workers sent to their neighborhood, or run the water for a few minutes to see if it will clear up on its own.

"I live in Cordova, so I’m glad I don’t live here right now, I have clean water," Jensen said. "And I’m not really sure what’s going on here. It could be from the snow and rust, it could be pipe issues, who knows."

WREG asked MLGW exactly what is causing the discoloration and when they expect the problem to be fixed, but we haven’t gotten a response.