Centerville mayor declares water emergency - WSMV News 4

Centerville mayor declares water emergency due to contaminated water

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The Centerville mayor and city council held a meeting Thursday night to address the water issues. (WSMV) The Centerville mayor and city council held a meeting Thursday night to address the water issues. (WSMV)

The mayor of Centerville has declared a water emergency because of contaminated water in the area.

Mayor Gary Jacobs says the town's water treatment plant was inundated with sediment-filled water from Swan Creek due to the heavy rains on Wednesday night.

According to Jacobs, the town will not pump water to customers that do not meet safety standards.

The mayor posted on his Facebook page on Friday that the city is currently filling the Fairfield tank and hopes to restore non-potable water to homes and businesses in the area by Friday afternoon.

He said Grinder's Switch, Shady Grove and Pleasantville/Brushy-Aetna is still a work in progress.

The Benard tank is at a fair level, according to the mayor, and non-potable water has been available in Centerville proper since Friday morning.

Jacobs said the city is contacting restaurants in town to offer water to them so they can open on Friday night.

This is the most rainfall the city has received since February 1890, according to the National Weather Service.

The water emergency went into effect at 11 a.m. Thursday.

City officials are working to bring in a portable treatment plant to help with water for the hospital and nursing homes. Bottled water will be available at the Town of Centerville's maintenance building on North Central Avenue.

Jacobs said he is asking for assistance from Gov. Bill Haslam and has been in touch with State Rep. Michael Curcio and State Sen. Kerry Roberts.

"Our people are doing everything humanly possible to get us through this event," Jacobs said.

Centerville Water System customers are being advised to boil water before drinking it or using it for food preparation.

Residents are being urged to take the following steps:

  • Prior to boiling, the water should be strained through a clean cloth to remove any sediment or floating material
  • The water should be heated to a vigorous boil, and the rolling boil should be maintained for one minute to ensure disinfection

Jacobs said engineers discovered the pH level in Swan Creek was very low, which he said was not normal.

"We don't know for sure at this time what caused the pH level to drop, but we do know that it prevented our normal treatment process from working properly," Jacobs said. "Combined with the high sediment levels, we have been chasing a problem that up until yesterday was partly a mystery to us."

Jacobs had a call scheduled with Gov. Bill Haslam's office on Friday to ask for assistance in determining the cause of the low pH and assistance in any renovations or new systems needed to properly meet the needs of the water customers.

In the interim, residents are being advised to turn off their water heaters. Anyone who still has water at their homes is asked to save it in containers for future use.

"I ask for your understanding and patience," Jacobs said. "I understand the frustration and anger of this loss of water as much as anyone. We are all in this together and we will work together to find a remedy. This may test us, but we as a community will come through it."

If you need assistance, call City Hall at 729-4246. This will help alleviate calls to emergency dispatchers, who are dealing with emergency calls as flooding impacts the area.

This isn't the first time Hickman County residents have dealt with water issues this year.

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