Water issues continue across Alabama amid deep freeze
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Freezing temperatures are causing water issues and impacting customers in multiple areas across west and central Alabama.
The Marbury Water System said its water levels have been low due to “customers dripping water, leaks from busted pipes, and frozen pipes.”
Officials said the system’s emergency water connections, which had been used to keep citizens with water, were stopped due to them also running low.
The system warned that their water tanks could be completely empty, resulting in no water to customers until possibly Tuesday.
“Even with lots of emergency measures in place, weather like this will sometimes override those,” the Marbury Water System added.
The Coosa County Sheriff’s Office reported that a “massive water leak” officials had been searching for for two days has finally been located. While water service had to be turned off Monday, it has since been restored.
Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. declared a local state of emergency for the city’s water system, confirming the deep freeze is causing water pipes to burst throughout the city, prompting a “major loss of water.”
The mayor said Monday afternoon that “thanks to a great response from the water board system crew” and others, “we were able to isolate enough leaks to contain the reduction in our water tanks volume.” The mayor cautioned that “we are still not clear,” and later provided a more urgent update after thawing pipes revealed more leaks.
“Starting immediately, the Water Board will begin turning off main lines throughout the city in an attempt to further isolate major leaks,” the mayor said. “This means your water may be turned off at any time and I cannot give you a time in which it will be restored. We will start in areas we believe are most suspect. I know you may need to catch some water but please limit the amount of water you draw for it will make the problem worse.”
“Citizens, please check underneath your homes for busted pipes. If you have a busted pipe, you need to turn your water off at the meter,” the mayor said. “Immediately catch some water for flushing, washing, and drinking, and immediately turn the water off at the meter.”
Mayor Perkins has also asked business owners and landlords to check their properties for water leaks.
Anyone who needs assistance turning off their water at the meter is asked to call the Selma Water and Sewer Board’s emergency line at 334-874-8857 or 334-349-1315.
Residents are also asked to immediately call those numbers if water is seen coming out of the ground and onto streets.
Central Elmore Water and Sewer Authority, or CEWSA, cautioned Sunday that systems in the area were running low on water and that it was “closely monitoring usage throughout the system.”
The Tallassee Fire Department was urging residents to limit water usage so that the city could restock its water supply.
Hayneville Mayor Jimmie Davis stated that Lowndes County workers are currently in the process of repairing many broken pipes in the water system.
Currently, the pumps are struggling to keep up with the demand for those who currently have water. Residents with water are asked to conserve as much as possible.
Officials are also reaching out for help to get some bottled water out to those in need, specifically in the Letohatchee area.
People in Macon County are also being impacted by water issues in the midst of frigid temperatures.
Macon County Emergency Management Agency Director Frank Lee said crews with the Macon County Water Authority are accessing breaches.
“Macon County Water Authority officials are unable to determine when residents on the Macon County Systems will be back online,” Lee said Monday evening.
Lee also shared that the Wall Street Water Authority, in Tallapoosa County, is experiencing similar issues, causing outages to customers on Macon County Road 37 that are supplied by Wall Street.
Both water utility companies are advising customers to check their service lines to make sure pipes aren’t broken, rather than frozen.
Notasulga, which is currently under a boil water notice, is now filling its tanks off the Loachapoka Water system, but says it’s much slower due to main sizes.
Wall Street Water Authority, which serves Reeltown, Notasulga and east Tallassee, located in portions of Tallapoosa, Lee and Macon counties, has since reported that “our tanks are completely empty and we are at the mercy of the treatment plant to supply us water once their current system gets restored.”
WSWA said it was “hopeful” it could start pumping water again Monday but said it “will be a several day restoration process” to get back to normal operating levels.
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