West Memphis still without water - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

West Memphis still without water

For the second straight morning, the entire city of West Memphis woke up without water. For the second straight morning, the entire city of West Memphis woke up without water.

(WMC-TV) - Residents in West Memphis were without water for a second day, as samples were sent to Arkansas state health officials for testing. The city remains under a boil water alert.

The utility department said they had to shut off water Tuesday night to replace a pump. Water should be restored before early Wednesday morning.

School was canceled again Tuesday due to the water problem.

Water was non-existent for the city until Tuesday, when repairs caused a brownish liquid to trickle out of faucets.

"It comes out looking clear but when it settles you see what it looks when it settles," said Tina Roe, who lives in West Memphis.

An Arkansas Health Department boil water notice is still in effect.

West Memphis Utility Commission officials say the discoloration is not a major problem.

"When a system goes down, a lot of time iron breaks loose in the lines and stuff and discolors the water. There's nothing at this time that can be done," said West Memphis Utility Commission Director of Environmental Quality Denise Bosnick.

On Monday, the utility company blamed cold weather-related mechanical failures in the system. Five high service pumps froze interrupting service periodically. One problem would get fixed and another would pop up.

"And then we came across this issue this morning with an 18-inch distribution line that busted," explained Bosnick. "And when it blew there was no way to distribute water, but we are running now."

The utility company says it will take a while before full pressure is restored and the brown disappears.

"Hopefully there won't be a surprise in the morning," said Bosnick.

Since the boil water alert is still in effect, residents should not consume water without boiling it first. Unless you have open wounds, it is safe to shower and bathe with the water.

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