MEMPHIS, Tennessee — On Monday, MLGW President Doug McGowen said it could take up to nearly a week to get the utility's water system fully back to normal as well as the boil water advisory lifted.
MLGW crews addressed more than 20 breaks in the water distribution system and addressed about 300 water leaks since Sunday night alone.
Area hospitals are also being brought in tanker trucks of water as a precaution, and MLGW is working to address reported low water pressure at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium ahead of Wednesday's bowl game.
McGowen said it's "all hands on deck" for MLGW water and gas crews to repair the leaks and water main breaks as the utility company (and its aging infrastructure) again deals with major repairs, enforcing its second boil water advisory in less than two years.
McGowen also said the process will likely follow a similar timeline to MLGW's last boil water advisory, which took place in early 2021.
"Last time it took four to five days after we identified all the ways to get things pressurized to get the final approval from the state — we are probably on a similar timeline here," McGowen told ABC24. "It's just the physics of refilling all the water mains to get the pressure back up and then getting the boil water lifted — earlier than that we should see pressure rise to get more water to more people."
The water system issue is also impacting senior citizens living in City View Towers and St. Peter Manor in Memphis, especially those living on higher floors.
City View Towers resident Glinda Allen is one of those affected. She said she hasn't had running water since Friday morning.
"I can't flush my stool; I can't brush my teeth, I can't cook, I can't bathe," Allen said. "Who does that? Who lives like that — someone in the wilderness somewhere?"
Even worse, Allen said City View Towers' management hasn't offered any assistance to residents impacted the most.
"Nothing," Allen said of the response. "You have not tried to accommodate anyone with bottles of water or anything."
Back at the MLGW community center on Lamar, McGowen confirmed water pressure challenges at the high rises and offered this message:
"I would ask the leadership of those facilities to make sure that they are taking care of their patrons," McGowen said. "Our job is to deliver water through our water system. I certainly cannot have our staff going to every single living facility delivering water. I would ask our community partners to help us in any way to help us do that."