MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphians are being asked to boil their water for three minutes before consuming it as Memphis Light Gas and Water fixes dozens of water lines and water pump breaks.
MLGW said they do not know when they are able to lift the boil water advisory.
Crews made headway repairing the water system Saturday but warmer temperatures in coming days could bring more water line breaks.
“What we’ve experienced over the last several days is really unprecedented,” said JT Young, MLGW’s President and CEO.
Unprecedented cold temperatures have led to an unprecedented water crisis for MLGW.
Saturday, Memphis City Council Members called an executive session to hear from MLGW President and CEO JT Young as the utility urged Memphians to boil any water they plan to consume.
“If our water system were a patient that showed up at regional one, I would say that they are critical. We are in the red status if you will,” said Young.
As of Saturday afternoon, MLGW crews had repaired 53 water line breaks.
MLGW explained those breaks increased the daily water supply average by 50 million gallons this year compared to last year at this time.
The system has had trouble keeping up water pressure with that large volume increase.
A decrease in water pressure can lead to bacterial growth, thus the boil water advisory.
At this time the advisory is only precautionary because no contaminants have been discovered in the water supply.
“As a trend, I would say that this is a day in which we’ve seen improvement over yesterday. Probably couldn’t have said that yesterday,” said Young.
Water from the faucet that you plan to drink or consume in any way should be boiled for at least three minutes, according to President Young.
Washing clothes, your hands or taking a shower is ok, but Young is asking all Memphians to help conserve as much as possible until Monday at noon, and that timeline may change.
“Just keep it down to the absolute essentials, that will help us in our current situation,” said Young.
There are no plans to shut off the water at this time.
All cities such as Bartlett or Germantown, surrounding MLGW’s coverage area are not affected by this boil water advisory.