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MLGW News Release
“We are heading in the right direction.”
December 27, 2022
December 27, 2022 – 6 p.m., statement from the president

To MLGW customers and partners,

Thanks to the incredible efforts of MLGW crews and staff over the last 48 hours, and cooperation from our many partners, residents and businesses, we are heading in the right direction to recover from this water distribution crisis. Pressure is building throughout the system and soon areas without water should begin to see some flow, and areas experiencing low pressure should see increasing pressure with each passing hour. As water service returns, customers may see some discoloration (typically rust colored). Discolored water is the result of iron in the system, is not harmful, and can be used for showering/bathing, but shouldn’t be used for drinking. Wait until water runs clear before boiling and using for consumption. Until we fully recover the system, I’d ask everyone to curtail “nice to have” water use and keep consumption to just the essentials.

Overnight and all day today our team and contracted partners have continued to find and fix broken water mains, and to secure water for residential and commercial customers who have broken pipes that are causing leaks. So far, our team has repaired 31 water main breaks and are now working on another 8.  Customer service technicians have secured water for 2,248 residential and commercial customers and are working on securing another 200 tonight. To date, our team has secured water at 45 commercial facilities because of broken Fire Protection (FP) or sprinkler pipes. 

For our business leaders:  Thanks for your help by allowing some remote work today. It helped.  Things are improving to the point that you can return to normal work routine tomorrow. Not every building in every part of our community will have full recovery, but I believe it’s reasonable to return. 

So far, MLGW, our partners and volunteers have given out 2,600 cases of water to families who are experiencing “no-water” conditions.   We are thankful to the partners who provided water donations:  Ajax Distributing, the Southern Heritage Classic, TVA, Shelby County, Amazon, the Reaves Firm, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity-Lemoyne Owen Chapter, and Ms. Mary Camara.  Tomorrow, December 28, we will again offer this service, from noon – 2 p.m. (or until supplies are exhausted). Recipients will receive one case per car.

  • Iglesia Nueva Vida, 1348 National St.
  • First Baptist Broad, 2835 Broad Ave

We are very thankful to Mayor Strickland and the City of Memphis for going the extra mile for our most vulnerable population and for providing non-potable water options for customers so that they could allow their toilets to be flushed. The City of Memphis will offer this service again tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hickory Hill Community Center, 3910 Ridgeway Rd.

Finally, thanks to our hospitality partners: the many hotels and restaurants who worked around serious challenges and came together to deliver the best possible experience for visitors to our city for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl – the game will go on!  So, whether you are a Jayhawks fan or a Razorbacks fan, we hope you enjoy a good game and our great city!  We are very pleased to say that since water pressure in FedEx Forum has stayed at an acceptable level, the Grizzlies game will go on tonight – go Grizz!

Doug McGowen
MLGW, President & CEO


MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 440,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County.

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