What's in Your Water Part One - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

What's in Your Water Part One

EASTABUCHIE, MS (WDAM) - Bruce Sword kick-starts his morning with a hot shower, whistling kettle, and a cup of tea.

Sword is like every other Petal resident; he relies on the Eastabuchie Water Utility to live a comfortable lifestyle.

Sword said he uses a constantly supply of hot water, so when he saw a report of a boil water notice for his area he was worried.

"I was finding it very difficult to find out what was actually going on," Sword said. He searched for answers for days by checking the Eastabuchie Water Utility's website and searching the internet for advice on what to do under a boil water notice.

Sword is from Scotland, and said this is the first notice he has ever experienced. He warned his neighbors of the notice and kept searching for answers.

According to Sword, several days later he the news there was coliform in the water.

“When I looked it up it said the presents of that, Coliform, meant that there could be something worse in the water,” Sword said.

After a few days the notice ended, but Sword couldn't say the same for his frustrations. According to Sword, he was notified only by a sign posted outside of the water association's building.

“Unless you were driving past it you would have never known,” Sword said.

Sword felt the Mississippi State Department of Health's website could have been more communicative on the matter.

“From it going on the health department's website, saying there was one, the next communication was it lifted. To me there should be more communication in between those two times,” Sword said.

According to Sword, news outlets should broadcast boil water notices more.

“If I hadn't been watching at that particular time, I wouldn't have known anything about it,” Sword said.

Now, Sword is demanding answers: Who's responsible for telling the public about boil water notices? Why can't the alerts arrive at the same speed as social media?

Finding Sword answers starts in the Pine Belt and ends at the Mississippi State Department of Health with Director of the Office of Environmental Health Leslie Royals.

“The water system is the responsible party for getting that information to its citizens,” Royals said.

Royals said water associations have no mandatory regulations or law to follow to get the word out.

“There is no list specifically of what they have to do,” Royals said. “They have to make a diligent effort.”


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