‘We are improving’: MLGW talks timeline for water restoration


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The sun is shining bright, and the snow is starting to melt. But it’s not washing away the problems produced by last week’s winter storms.

Hundreds of thousands of MLGW customers are still under a boil water advisory. Many of you have reached out to us for how long this will continue.

The long and short is MLGW says it can’t provide a timeline for when the boil water advisory will be lifted. But on Monday, we did learn that once the water pressure is stabilized, it could take two days for the state to give the ok to lift the advisory.

“We are improving, and we’re going to continue moving in that direction,” an MLGW official said.

The utility company is moving out of the red. Over the weekend, MLGW called things critical but said today pumping station are operating better.

MLGW reports improved water pressure in South Memphis and East Memphis but places like downtown still has issues which prompted several government buildings to close today.

So far they’ve repaired about 80 water main breaks. That’s important as crews work to stabilize the water pressure so the current boil water advisory can be lifted.

While they can’t provide an exact timeline on when that will happen, they did explain some of the other steps that need to be taken after the water pressure gets back to a safe level.

“Probably two days once we get pressurized system out and once we get flushing done and get the biological test back we should be there,” Nick Newman, MLGW VP of Engineering and Operations, said.

The big concern now as crews try to make that happen are leaks at private properties.

“Our smart meter data is giving us some information around some of the property service leaks and that data is giving us information that leads us to believe that’s really where a lot of our concerns are at now. Maybe even more so than what we’ve had at our pumping stations,” JT Young, MLGW President and CEO, said.

MLGW says its already completed 3,300 water shutoffs for water leaks or bursted pipe .But they need your help to find others.

“We are continuing to ask the public to let us know if you have a property leak, if something is going on that’s unusual with your water usage let us know so we can get out there and address that.”

As that happens, there are things you can do. Of course continue to boil water and limit water usage as well.

“Anything you can put off during the middle of the night that does definitely help.”

Another important note, until further notice MLGW says it will not turn off service if you haven’t paid your bill. It’s also extending the time to set up a payment plan.

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