NLWA Customers Concerned About Service

Customers of the North Lauderdale Water Association say they're tired. Tired of the water they pay for that's either nonexistent, low pressure or most recently... dirty.

"The water in Lake Okatibbee is better than the water that we're getting through our faucets," Gary Hines says. "We're paying for this water and you can't drink it. You don't want to drink it. They say it's safe, but is it really safe? I'm not going to let my kids drink it."

Hines says he's reaching out to Senator Cochran for help. And is reaching out for others to do the same. Others have taken to a new Facebook group called NLWA Customer Complaints to voice their concerns. Like Lindsay Neal who's had to bring her clothes to a laundromat so they aren't ruined.

"It really makes me mad because I pay for our power, our water everything. And I still have to come and put $5.75 to do one load of clothes, not counting the other two bags that I have. So I'm spending probably $20 just to wash clothes when I have a perfectly good washing machine and dryer at home that I pay for," Neal says.

The NLWA says this most recent issue was caused after a treatment plant had an electrical problem Tuesday night.

"We had to open another treatment plant and start overworking it to try to make up for the two plants," NLWA manager Lynn Pratt explains. "When we found the electrical problem, we turned the original treatment plant back on and thought we had everything cleared up and starting flushing lines Wednesday afternoon and night trying to get it cleared up."

Customers say rates are going up this month. Which is tough, since they complain expenses like extra filters and ruined clothes are already costing them.

"I think they need to be repaying us instead of upping the rates," Gaius Tew says. "I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to get the matter resolved and I know a bunch of other people in our area are too. I'm not alone in this. If it takes a class-action suit."

This comes after a June meeting when customers say they were promised issues like this would be resolved by last November. In the meantime, the NLWA says fixing this problem is its top priority.