Water restored to Giles County after week-long outage

Water was restored to homes in Giles County late Sunday night after some residents there went without water for close to a week.
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 7:42 PM CST
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PULASKI, Tenn. (WSMV) - Water service was restored to homes in Giles County late Sunday night after some residents went without running water for close to a week.

The South Giles Utility District issued a boil water advisory, particularly for customers at higher elevations, after a significant loss of water pressure. Bobby Page, general manager at South Giles UD, said the county’s water supply was crippled Dec. 24, overwhelmed by sub-zero temperatures and rolling blackouts.

“We just lost pressure. We didn’t lose water,” Page said. “We don’t think the lines were ever empty, we just didn’t have the pressure to get (water) to the houses.”

Page said he will be meeting with county leaders and the other utility companies sometime this week to discuss what could have caused the county-wide outage.

“We really appreciate (our customers) and we thank everybody for their patience and understanding,” Page said. “We know it’s been a rough time. It’s been rough on us. I know it’s been rough on them. Maybe three of four more days and we’ll be out of this stuff, we hope.”

Giles County Executive Graham Stowe posted a message to Facebook Sunday afternoon, discussing some of the possible next steps.

“Mayor (J.J.) Brindley and I have already discussed our approach for documenting lessons-learned and working to ensure we do everything possible to improve both water infrastructure and policies/procedures. We’ll be getting together with the utilities and investigate what went wrong and what went right,” Stowe said in the statement. “I know enough already to say that sub-zero weather and rolling blackouts wreaked havoc. Moving forward we need to institute checklists and procedures so that when we seen these or similar conditions, we’ll be better prepared to pre-emptively secure pumps, close valves or isolate line breaks.

“I’ll also soon be talking with CTAS and our county attorney to discuss county government’s role in the management/oversight of our utility districts. The thought has certainly crossed my mind, given our many infrastructure challenges, that having a county engineer would be a leap forward. But for now, I’d be satisfied with more robust contingency and communication plans.

“With the understanding that some are still waiting for water, we’re close to being on the other side of this episode. The vast majority of folks maintained their civility, pushed through inconveniences, and helped their neighbors. I’m thankful – and proud – to be a part of this community. And Mayor Brindley and I are off to a fine start. He’s been a fantastic partner through this ordeal. We’re both results oriented and I sure appreciated his leadership over the last week. He reminded me of a favorite quote: ‘Difficulties are things that show what men are,’ which is also applicable to many folks who pitched in, forged teams and put in 18-hours days to repair line breaks.”

I jumped into the fray a few days ago because there was a communications disconnect between water utilities and their...

Posted by Graham Stowe on Sunday, January 1, 2023