Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) will not shut off water to residential customers, officials said Friday afternoon.
MLGW president and CEO J.T. Young said he wanted to dispel the rumor, saying he wanted to "make sure this gets clarified." MLGW will ask some large water users to cut their usage. The utility is also asking residential customers to curtail their water usage until Monday at noon.
Rumors began swirling about possible shut offs soon after MLGW officials issued a boil water advisory Thursday evening. Text messages and social media hummed with varying accounts of what action may come from MLGW. Some urged residents to fill their bathtubs or bottles with water to use fearing that the city's water would be shut off. Young said none of those suggestions came from MLGW.
That advisory came as freezing temperatures broke water mains and lowered pressure and lowered water levels in city reservoirs. All of this could allow contaminants into the city’s drinking water. However, MLGW officials said Friday they’ve tested the water and have found no contaminants. However, restaurants were only able to stay open if they could adhere to the boil water order.
Young said MLGW has repaired 60 water mains since Saturday. Crews were working on five mains Friday afternoon. The utility has responded to about 1,030 calls to homes from residential customers experiencing leaks at their homes behind the meter.
The boil water advisory will be lifted when MLGW officials see water pressure rise. They gave no firm timeline on when that may be.