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Mayor forms panel to evaluate water system’s capacity

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said Monday he wants to upgrade the city’s water system to avoid future crises like the one that occurred during the recent winter storm.

Flaggs said he wants a comprehensive evaluation of the city’s water system called a capacity study to evaluate the plant’s capacity for the city and its customers, including the two water districts — Culkin and Yokena-Jeff Davis — which both buy water from the city.

He said the study will recommend how to modernize the system to identify leaks, control water pressure and how much water can go to a home during a crisis.

“It makes no sense in 2021 to chase water (leaks) on foot,” Flaggs said. “It makes no sense for our workforce to chase leaks when we can have an automated system that will identify them and alert us. I know it can be done.”

Flaggs said he is forming a committee composed of Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman, Water and Gas Superintendent Dane Lovell, Warren County Board of Supervisors President Dr. Jeff Holland and representatives from the Culkin, Fisher Ferry, Yokena-Jeff Davis, Hilldale and Eagle Lake water districts to oversee the evaluation.

A combination of waterlines bursting or leaking, coupled with overuse, resulted in the system losing pressure. City residents began losing water service Thursday, forcing Flaggs to issue a 48-hour emergency plan Sunday to rebuild pressure in the system.

The emergency plan expires Tuesday.

He said the city is now dealing with residential water leaks, which he said is not putting a strain on the system.

“The biggest thing was to get the water back in the tanks and improve the water pressure coming to the plant,” Flaggs said. “The water pressure coming from the plant I’m told it’s 130 psi (pounds per square inch). So that’s great news.”

The next thing that’s needed, he said, is the approval of the water quality from the Mississippi State Department of Health to lift the boil water notice.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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