Meridian, Mississippi North Lauderdale Water customers didn't hold back on Thursday night when it came to expressing their anger and frustration over problems they say they've been experiencing for years now, including having to replace corroded pipes in their homes.
Customers did not attend the meeting empty-handed. One man brought a plastic water bottle, full of what he says is water provided to him by the North Lauderdale Water Association on January 30th. Another man brought a water filter to show how dirty it is because of what many claim are high levels of iron in the water they are receiving. North Lauderdale Water Association customers say the iron is making their lives miserable.
"We have a water hydrant right in front of our yard and that thing has ran for over a month," customer Lisa Clayton says. "We have bad, bad residual in our bathtub. All of our toilets are stained. Everything is stained. We buy our water, so I pay two water bills. I pay the North Lauderdale and I also pay the bill from us buying water."
"Iron is not a health hazard," engineer Stanley Spradling says. "It stains clothes, it stains toilets, it looks terrible, it settles out in water, it's bad. I'm not telling you it's not bad, but it's not a health hazard."
During Thursday night's meeting, officials with the North Lauderdale Water association told the crowd they have reached out to the city of Meridian about taking over water service. However, there is some confusion about whether the city of Meridian received that offer.
The water association says it is planning to make upgrades to its Plant 5 within the next 120 days to hopefully improve conditions. Officials admit that bad weather and a staffing shortage can slow response times in addressing concerns.