Rural Water Associations

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Of all the factors related to water the most important is safety. Last year the states 1,600 local water associations issued 286 boil water notices. Herman Usher of the Long Creek Association says that doesn't necessarily mean what you might think.

"If you lose pressure out here on one line or you have to cut a line off water or you lose electricity the law is that you will put out a boil water (notice)," said Usher. "When you put a boil water notice and you get pressure back on your line you got to take a sample. You got to send it to Jackson."

The state health department requires periodic water samples sent to it from water associations for analysis.

"You get a bad sample of water and you've got ecoli in your water then the health department puts on a boil water notice," said Payne.

That, he said, is when you really have problems. Glen Payne, the certified operator at the Collinsville Association confirms chlorine is added to rural water.

"It's required," said Glen Payne of the Collinsville Water Association. "They want us to add something to the water to take care of any contaminants that might get in like bacteria and that's what we add the chlorine for."

Water in this area comes from an underground lake called the Lower Wilcox aquifer. Shaped like a rainbow with the peak of the curve to the west of us it runs from midway between Meridian and the Gulf Coast up into Northeast Mississippi and west as far as Madison County.

All area associations as well as the city of Meridian tap it for water with wells that ranges from about 700 feet deep to 1,150. Copies of the State Health Department reports are a matter of public record and can be obtained from any association on request.

Thursday the newest computer method of reading meters comes to Lauderdale County.