Centerville community rallies together during water shortage - WSMV News 4

Centerville community rallies together during water shortage

Posted: Updated:
Mayor Gary Jacobs is warning residents of Centerville in Hickman County that their water may be contaminated. (WSMV) Mayor Gary Jacobs is warning residents of Centerville in Hickman County that their water may be contaminated. (WSMV)
CENTERVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Officials hope to begin seeing water restored to Hickman County water customers by Thursday afternoon, according to the county's EMA.

The county's EMA director said they hope to see water restored on the outskirts of the area by Thursday. Some areas will have service sooner. However, the time frame could change.

Officials are distributing water at the Centerville Maintenance Operations Center at 128 N. Central Ave. Anyone wishing to donate water can also drop-off there.

The city issued a "boil water" alert to customers but asks that customers strain the water to clear some of the sediments before boiling it. It has also been recommended to customers to shut off the hot water heaters to prevent possible damage to the units.

The hospital in Hickman County, two nursing homes and the county jail are on the same water tank that appears to be operating properly.

All the runoff from recent rain has caused the outage in Centerville.

At the Centerville Maintenance Operations Center downtown, cars continued to drive through and get loaded up with a free case of water.

When they were down to their last few gallons, local business owner Terri McKeel showed up with more.

“This is all we could get today,” she said. “I love these people. I just love these people, and it's the least we can do to help out.”

The water outage forced local businesses to close their doors.

“It’s a hardship on our county,” said Beverly Smith at the Fairfield Baptist Church.

Her church set-up a makeshift water donation site.

“We've probably given out 100 cases of water today,” she said. “It’s really a nice outreach for our community.”

Kim Hargrove lives in Centerville. She said, “Yeah we can get bottle water, but what about baths for the kids? Some people like me got four kids at home.”

Centerville Mayor Gary Jacobs said the water outage is due to sediment and debris from heavy rains and runoff - which contaminated the town's water source: Swan Creek.

“Until that sediment is cleaned out, we're going to have problems producing clean water through our water plant,” Jacobs said.

He says this process will likely last a few days. Jacobs initially sent out a boil water advisory Sunday, encouraging residents to strain their water and then bring it to a vigorous boil before consumption. However, Jacobs said that if the water is too contaminated with debris and sediment, boiling won't get the job done.

“You can't boil muddy water, all you are going to do is have hot muddy water,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs says Centerville will get an additional 1,800 cases for residents Monday morning. The water will be available at the Centerville Maintenance Operations Center located at 128 N Central Avenue.

The Office of Emergency Management confirmed to News 4 that residents were told to shut down their hot water heaters. Keeping heaters running during a water outage can damage or completely break the machine.

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