Hearing on Water Works improvements set for Nov. 5
Published 12:01 am Friday, September 28, 2018
BY GENE COLEMAN
NATCHEZ — Reinforcing Natchez’s water supply capabilities, especially during hard freezes, will be one topic addressed during a Nov. 5 public hearing on proposed improvements to the city’s drinking water system.
Tony Moon, superintendent of the Natchez Water Works, said the hearing is not regarding the quality of the city water supply, which he said is fine. Rather, Moon said, the proposed improvements involve reinforcing the existing infrastructure and improving service in certain areas.
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“We’re very fortunate in Natchez to not have some of the problems other communities have,” Moon said. “(Improvements) will create some redundancy to continuous uninterrupted service in times such as cold weather, which can bring on some challenging times.”
Moon said the harsh temperatures of the past two winters in Natchez indicated a need to reduce the likelihood of water supply interruption. He said water lost through cracked pipes puts a strain on the city’s water supply.
“It’s a challenge for our system to keep up with the demand created in those situations,” Moon said. “You have more water going out of the system than you can put in. If you continue to put out more water, inevitably you’re not going to be able to keep up. That’s a scary thought. We don’t want that to happen.”
Moon said crews met the response in such a way that residents did not experience any reduction in services. He also said adding a fifth high service pump and updating antiquated control panels would reduce the likelihood of a repeat scenario.
The addition of a fifth service pump would allow Natchez Water Works crews to take an existing pump offline for maintenance or to shut one off during a crisis, Moon said.
Areas flagged for improving water supply and water pressure are Government Fleet Road, Providence Road, Lewis Drive and the Natchez-Adams County Port.
Moon said Water Works is seeking partial funding for improvements through a Community Development Block Grant and a Drinking Water Systems Improvements Revolving Loan Fund program. Securing the funds and putting a design into action could take more than a year, he added.
Moon said Water Works crews do an exceptional job but updates are needed.
“One of the things we do is, every morning before we go to work, we say we’re going to do everything within our power, within reason, to provide the best service we can. At the end of the day we ask if we did the best we could do. Without these improvements, I can’t answer yes to that question,” Moon said.
The public hearing will be at 10 a.m. Nov. 5, at the Natchez Water Works Office, 150 N. Shields Lane.