Residents in a section of Hernando affected by a Boil Water Alert earlier in the week have been told that their water is again safe to drink.
On Wednesday, city officials imposed its own alert for about 4,746 customers served by the City of Hernando-Jaybird water supply. They subsequently informed the Mississippi Department of Health (DOH) of a system-wide pressure loss due to a malfunction at the pump.
According to the DOH, when a distribution system loses pressure, contaminants can siphon back into the water. Public health officials consider any system that loses pressure contaminated until tests prove otherwise. Health officials strongly recommend that all water be boiled vigorously for one minute before it is consumed.
Through the course of testing for contaminants, it was determined the water was safe to drink again and the city informed residents of the all-clear at mid-morning on Friday.
One of the areas affected by the Boil Water Alert was at Hernando Hills Elementary School, which benefitted from a donation of water bottles from the Hernando Kroger Marketplace store in Hernando.
The Kroger store donated 1,700 bottles of water to the school Thursday morning.
According to information from the DeSoto County Schools district office, school officials were taking precautionary measures that including the disabling of the water fountains Thursday before students came to school.
“Restrooms can be used as normal,” a release about the issue stated. “Students will use hand sanitizer instead of water to clean their hands and lunches will not be affected.”
The release added that school operated on a regular schedule Thursday and parents were contacted by phone call and email early Thursday morning about the situation.
Crews worked continuously through Thursday night and Friday morning to restore pressure to the system with the Pleasant Hill area being the last segment to have pressure restored as of mid-morning Friday.
Two water pumps worked through the night into Friday morning at maximum capacity to get water to all residents, however an electrician had to be called in at one point when the pumps overheated.
At late afternoon Friday, the city announced, “All water tanks are full The wells and pumps are cycling correctly and systems are operating at full pressure at the plant. Random pressure checks are taking place. We anticipate water running at regular capacity this evening for all residents.”
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.