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MLGW News Release
MLGW Water Remains Safe: Some Discolored Water Due to Water Main Break, Not Flood
May 5, 2011
(May 5, 2011) - MLGW's water system remains intact and safe despite the area flooding.

A small number of customers have reported discolored or rusty water today in the Uptown, Downtown and North Memphis areas, but this is not in relation to the flood. Rusty water sometimes occurs when there is an increase or change in water flow, largely caused by water main breaks, fire hydrant activations, and flow direction changes. In this case, a 20-inch water main burst near Second Street last night, and the subsequent repair of this main caused some typical, temporary discoloration of water due to dislodging of iron sediment in the pipes.

MLGW is in the process of flushing out the system to clear it of this sediment. No flood water has entered MLGW's system at any time. While the water is safe, MLGW recommends that customers do not laundry if they are experiencing rusty water, as the rust can stain clothing. Also, minimize using hot water to prevent sediment from entering a hot water heater.

Other facts:

  • All of MLGW's water pumping stations are located above areas that are flooding or expected to flood.

  • While a few MLGW wells may be located in flood areas, MLGW will shut down any of those affected and utilize other wells to supply customers without interruption.

  • MLGW does not use surface water to supply its customers -- it uses ground water from the Memphis aquifer, which is located hundreds of feet below the surface.

  • In addition to a natural filtration process for water recharging the aquifer, MLGW disinfects and treats Memphis water before distributing it to customers.

  • MLGW is not shutting water off to any areas of Shelby County.

  • Customers planning on evacuating should cut their water off in the home, not at the street.

    MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 423,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County.