City of Hattiesburg proposes a plan to fix brown water issue

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The City of Hattiesburg proposed a solution for its brown water problem during Monday’s City Council meeting, and that is to reduce the iron in the water.

Director of engineering, Lamar Rutland said, "We have proposed the City Council to make upgrades to the water plant, which they approved the design for two council meetings ago. And, then we have proposed to replace a lot of the undersized lines throughout the city."

The current pipe lines are up to four inches. But, Rutland wants to build new lines that are eight inches or larger.

"In the smaller lines, your water is having to flow very rapid in order to keep up with the demand. And with that rapid flow, it scours the lines and pulls the rust and sentiment off the exterior of the pipes. If you increase that pipe size, you reduce the scour on the walls of the pipes itself. And, therefore, you shouldn't get as much sentiment in the water," said Rutland.

Citizens who live east of Highway 49 have the most discolored water in the city.

"It would be greatly beneficial from people not opening up their tap water and having brown water. Granted, brown water is not harmful to drink, as far as water with iron in it. But, I think everybody is ready to get rid of their brown water issue," said Rutland.

Rutland also said it will costs the city between $15-20 million, and can take up to 7-10 years to complete.

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