Jackson County

Gautier officials say clearer water heading through pipes to homes

 Gautier City Manager Samantha Abell on Feb. 20, 2013. Kerry's Kars
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Gautier City Manager Samantha Abell on Feb. 20, 2013. Kerry's Kars SUN HERALD

GAUTIER -- Gautier is making major strides toward clear tap water. However, there are some who may think the city has taken a step backwards, because the water coming out of their tap appears to be even darker brown than it was.

Not to worry, city officials say. This is not a setback, it's an indication of progress.

The city is using a new ion exchange filtration plant to clear the brown tint from it's water, managed through Clearwater Solutions, but it will take time to change all the water in the city. It is expected to take up to a year for the processed water to make its way though the entire city system of pipes and water tanks.

According to City Manager Samantha Abell, 25 percent of the city's water system is now clear, filtered water.

"If you're located in southern Gautier, you might notice an increase in water tint," she said. If that happens, call Clearwater Solutions at 497-4283.

"An increase in tint is actually the filter process working," she explained in a note to the city. "It's loosening stubborn particulates in the line. This is a good thing, and easily resolved by flushing the line."

She told the Sun Herald if a resident calls Clearwater, they will come to the house and flush the line for clearer water. The company is also recording these high-tint spots in the system.

Abell said the city's new water plant is the first of its kind in Mississippi and uses the newest technology for an environmentally friendly and affordable water cleaning process.

This is a major benchmark for her administration, she said.

"In 2011 the city adopted a clear-water plan to buy and install the system," she said. And it is coming to fruition.

She said the system they chose is "greener than an osmosis plant."

The city used the pay-as-you-go approach, she said, refinancing old bonds and pledging the savings toward the purchase of a plant to clear the water of its brown tint, caused by naturally occurring tannin in the water.