NEW AUGUSTA, MS (WDAM) - Residents in New Augusta decided to take matters into their own hands after they say their water company was not doing enough to repair their waterline.
"We're fed up," Suzanne Hinton said. "This isn't something that just started. It's repeat."
Hinton said the water main along Pat Hinton Road has had issues for years, and breaks in the line leave her family and other on the street with low water pressure or no water at all. She said the latest break happened early Sunday morning, but when the Arlington Water Association maintenance person took hours to respond, residents had had enough.
"We finally took it upon ourselves to put a ratchet strap on it and hook it together," Hinton said.
She said when the maintenance person did come assess the issue, he left the residents' makeshift repair in place. Hinton said these kind of surface repairs are typical.
"They just patch it," she said. "They use old parts. It's not something that is a permanent fix. It still leaks, and they just drive off and leave it that way."
She also said if someone does come to do a repair, they leave the pipe exposed.
"They never cover them back up," she said. "They say they know it's going to break again. That's an easy way to get to it."
Arlington Water Association Board President Lessie Gandy said he and the association are aware that the pipe has been a problem for years, but said they don't have the money to replace the pipe.
"That's going to happen," Gandy said. "Ain't nothing we can do about it."
More than a full waterline replacement, Hinton said she just wants a reliable, timely repair.
"We need somebody when we call them that will come out and actually fix the line, not just patch it. Fix it," Hinton said. "Don't use old parts. Give us something that we can actually drink."
Gandy said the board is not responsible for repairs and that was their maintenance man's job.
"Our responsibility is to supply water to our members," he said. "If we have a complaint, we go and fix it."
Hinton said, "The Arlington Water, as long as you have water, it doesn't matter how much pressure you have. Just as long as you have water."
Hinton said even when the water is on, she never knows how long it will stay.
"You have to turn off your house before you go to work because you don't know if the water's going to out and burn up your hot water heater or whatever else can happen after that," she said. "You want to be able to go and take a bath before you go somewhere. You don't want to have to find out, 'Well, whose house have I got to go take a bath at?'"
Arlington Water Association Board member Allen Lott said the board is having its monthly meeting Tuesday and may discuss the waterline then.