How much responsibility does the City of Yatesville have when there is a problem with the city water system? That is a question the Yatesville City Council considered at its meeting on March 11.
Council member Phyl Gatlin brought up a concern that in all the homes on Magnolia Circle, the water is sputtering and coming out milky white.
“They’ve got air in the lines and this has been going on since they changed the pump and it has not stopped,” said Gatlin. “Everybody is interested in why that’s happening and what we’re going to do about it.”
While Mayor Cecil Moncrief said he had not heard of a problem until the day before, Council member Wanda Dozier and several residents attending the meeting said that their water had also been coming out milky looking.
Council member Ronnie Riggins added that he spent some time the day before at the residence of Billy Lee, trying to clean out his water heater.
“He has got a gritty substance in it that looks like sand,” said Riggins. “We couldn’t even drain his water heater, because it has got so much sand in it clogging up the drain. He said he had been fooling with it all day, trying to get it out, and just wanted me to see what it was doing. Every line in Billy’s house that has a screen or filter on them, he’s had to take the filters off, because the sand is clogging them up. I think his problem is his water heater is full of it, so everytime he turns on the hot water, it shoots that sandy grit down the line. It may be cleared up by now, but his problem and some of the rest of them, the damage has already been done. He was wanting to know what we could do about it, because he can’t afford to hire a plumber.”
The city had a pump at one of its wells replaced three weeks ago, and everyone agreed that the problems started after the pump was replaced. Mayor Moncrief said the pump was shut down the day before because of a busted pipe.
“That well is out of service for right now. So hopefully it will clear up,” said Moncrief. “So we are now aware of it and we’re working on it.”
But Riggins expressed concern over what responsibility the city has in the issue.
“We’ve always said that everything from the meter to the house is the homeowner’s responsibility,” said Riggins. “But if it is something that we did that caused that problem, how much responsibility do we have for something like that?”
Gatlin questioned if the problem could be because of prior damage to Lee’s water heater. Riggins responded that he didn’t think so.
“I would say that it was if it was brown, rusty stuff, because a lot of times water heaters, especially old ones, will get sediment in them,” said Riggins. “But this is sand. It is obviously sand. It looks like sand. It feels like sand. That is not coming out of the water heater; it got in there from the water system.
“That’s the issue,” he added. “How much responsibility does the city have? Because if you start fixing one, then you have to look at everybody else’s. Unfortunately, stuff like this happens.”
Mayor Moncrief suggested they find out what the problem is before they make a decision on the issue.
“That well was shut down yesterday,” stated Moncrief. “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, it is something they did when they replaced the pump. Something malfunctioned. But what I say is let’s let Charlie come up here and see what he says about it. I’ll get a report from him and we’ll meet again. I don’t know, but there may be a hole in the pipe somewhere. The only thing I know to do is let’s find out what the problem is, and just proceed from that point.”