Kemper Residents Deal with 'Dirty' Water

Pipe problems in parts of southern Kemper County are putting residents in a bad situation. Officials say they're working to solve the problem, but it's not fast enough for many.

Work being done at the New Hope water facility Thursday that caused nearby residents to be stuck with dirty water for the entire weekend.

"We had some contractors out here," said Billy Dixon, manager of Gibson Water Authority. "They're trying to get ready to use those two tanks right there. They opened the valve up over yonder. They opened it up too much."

That caused pressure levels to be off course and turned everyone's water black in the process. That little mistake pretty much ruined Anaya Cross' weekend.

"We wake up one morning and the water is very dirty," said Cross, a resident of New Hope. "It has been like the toilet was all black. We couldn't use no water. We had to go to the store to get bottles of water and boil it."

But Dixon says the reason a boil water advisory wasn't issued is because the system never actually lost pressure.

"We didn't lose pressure," said Dixon. "If you lose pressure, then you need to put in a boil water. But we didn't lose pressure. So we didn't put a boil water on. The black is naturally in the water. It's magnesium."

However, he says it clumped together after the valve was opened too much, making the water appear dirty.

"The only way we can get it out of the line is put valves on at the end of these lines. And we're doing that," said Dixon. "And it's getting out. But now, if I tell you it's all out, somebody's going to call me tonight and tell me I'm crazy."

Cross insists she has been kept in the dark through the whole ordeal.

"They should had at least noticed us about that," Cross said. "They should have wrote it down on a piece of paper and sent it in the mail instead of making up excuses and stuff."

So for now, New Hope residents say they'll continue buying bottled water until the problem is solved.

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