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Byram mayor wants city to establish own water system- but there’s a major hurdle

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BYRAM, Miss. (WLBT) - As of Monday, thousands of Jackson and Byram residents are still seeing either low or no water pressure at all.

The water woes made for a busy day for contractors as they disassembled the well along TV Road, trying to find the exact reason for its current problems. It’s one of two wells that went down last week.

The other is along Siwell Road, but it’s currently back in service thanks to a temporary pump.

As the city looks to find a replacement pump for that well, Public Works Director Dr. Charles Williams is asking residents for patience.

”We’re doing everything as quickly as we can in order to restore water as quickly as we can,” said Dr. Williams. “This is a very tedious process where we have to remove a lot of pipe out of the ground and we have to make sure that we do it correctly without disturbing some other well components while we perform this work.”

But while the city continues to work to fix the problems, Byram Mayor Richard White said he’s continuing to ponder the idea of disconnecting from Jackson’s water system.

”When they mention there’s a boil water in South Jackson, that affects us because we get our same water from the same wells,” said White. White said many Byram residents have also expressed interest in this idea.

He said the city will look into applying for grants to help them secure the funding to purchase the wells, and water towers.

However, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said there’s one major hurdle standing in the way: ”It’s not simply, and he should know this, it’s not simply a matter of buying new wells.”

“The pipes in the ground are owned by Jackson, so you would not only have to get new wells and all of that other stuff, you would have to purchase the pipes from the City of Jackson, and that is far higher of an expense than what may have been adjusted for upon that statement,” said Lumumba.

”If they want to talk about us buying some pipes or whatever we need to do, I think we can have our own wells and we’ll be responsible for what happens to the water and how often it’s off,” said White.

White said he’s going to wait until after the upcoming general election before moving forward with plans for Byram to establish its own water system. A boil water remains in effect for residents in South Jackson and Byram.

Those who have water are also asked to conserve it.

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