Water associations say they have enough water but lawn and garden demands is producing low pressure in some areas

Published 2:35 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Water association officials in Pearl River County say they have plenty of water, but residents watering parched lawns and gardens in the wake of a prolonged drought are generating low water pressure in some water system areas.

Surprisingly, the head of the Pearl River County Utility Authority, Cliff Diamond, says dry weather actually helps his operation, at least the sewer part of it, although he recognizes the need for some rain to dispel the current drought.

Rainfall is five inches below normal for the year-to-date, according to officials who keep tabs on rainfall here.

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Says Larry Joe Copeland, Carriere’s Pearl River Central Water Association director, “There is one road, and I know there are five or six gardens on that road, and each evening the water pressure in that area is low because they are watering their gardens.”

He added, “We have plenty of water from deep wells, and low pressure from residents watering lawns and gardens is our only problem right now. We have plenty of water. And until it rains, it will stay that way; people are going to water their lawns and gardens if they can get water.”

Water consumption is difficult to control.

Ronnie Dossett, director of the Center Water Association, which serves Caesar Community, asked residents in the northern end of the system to boil their water until further notice as long as water pressure is low.

He said that one of the main wells is down for repair, causing low pressure in the northern end of the system.

He also asked that residents on the southern end of the system, mainly along Caesar Road to Picayune, reduce water usage. He said residents are watering lawns and gardens because of the drought.

“We are asking that customers not use excessive amounts of water,” he said.

Dossett said that three other wells in the system are supplying enough water, but the well that is being repaired and is not on-line has caused some problems with pressure in the lines.

Dossett said that customers in the northern end of the system, mainly along Bouie and Preacher Powell roads, should boil their water until they receive a notice from the association that it is okay not to do so.

“And please conserve water usage until notified otherwise,” Dossett said.

The Center Water Association serves mainly the Caesar Community area.

Chuck Smith, operator of the Sunny Oak Water Association northwest of Poplarville, said the association was “running smoothly.”

Added Smith, “We have had no problems so far caused by the lack of rain.”

L.B. Dillard, operator of the water association that serves the Nicholson Community, said that system was not having any problems caused by the lack of rain. “We have plenty of water, and everything so far is working and operating just fine,” said Dillard.

Diamond said that the dry weather “does not affect us.”

He said that a lot of rain results in what is called “infiltration” in a lot of sewer lines, thus putting a lot of pressure on pumping facilities. “The lack of rain is really not a bad thing for us,” he added.