Dirty water is being blamed for causing a murky mess at a Meridian swim club. The owner of what use to be Briarwood Country Club, estimates that between three and four inches of mud poured into the 10 foot deep pool there when workers attempted to fill it. Although this is a concern, he says the bigger problem is that residents and businesses in that area are often left to pay for brown water.
On Wednesday morning workers at Briarwood Golf and Swim Club turned on water to fill the large swimming pool. Prior to starting the water, club officials say that the bottom of the entire pool was clean. However, within an hour of actually turning on that water, they say the deepest portion of the pool turned into a murky mess.
"Luckily we caught it. It was like chocolate milk coming out of the hose over there," says Briarwood Golf and Swim Club owner, Rob McGraw. He estimates that anywhere from three to four inches of mud filled the pool's lowest level.
"We're going to have to spend $700 or $800 in labor costs to get the mud out of the end of the pool."
Briarwood resident, Jim Daniels says he and many of his neighbors also have concerns about water quality.
"About every two to three weeks there will just be mud. The water will come out brown. The drinking water, you can't do anything with it. We have to buy water to cook with every now and then," says Daniels.
A few years ago the Briarwood area was annexed into Meridian. However, it's water service is still provided by the North Lauderdale Water Association.
"These people out here need something done ASAP," says McGraw. "This has been going on for two or three years with the people around here washing clothes and they come out dirty. It seems like nobody's got any jurisdiction over the water association. We're just butting our heads against each other."
Although he declined an offer to speak on camera, Lynn Pratt, who is the operations manager for the North Lauderdale Water Association told Newscenter 11 via phone that water from the agency is tested each month by the Mississippi Department of Health. He went on to assure us that the water is safe. In regards to the mud in the pool, Pratt says it's not uncommon for some sediments from pipes to loosen and seep out of pumps when a steady stream of water flows through them for an extended amount of time.