Well-water economics

New Albany’s decision to continue supplying the city water from wells probably was the only economically feasible choice to make.

Water currently comes from seven wells that tap into the Eutaw-McShands Aquifer. The wells are spread out around the area.
Converting to piping surface water into New Albany from Tupelo would greatly increase the cost of water, both to the city and its customers.
 That said, the problem of manganese buildup from the well water continues to be an exasperating problem for city residents. Not only is city water sometimes brown, but it causes problems in everything from discoloring clothes in the washer to building up crud in a refrigerator’s ice maker.
Bill Mattox, manager of New Albany’s Light, Gas & Water utility, has told the Board of Alderman that the utility will examine all of its processes for treating water with phosphates, and then seek money for cleaning pipes and replacing those that cannot be cleaned adequately.
A process called “pigging” will be used on some pipes. A device is inserted into the line that pushes sludge out the other end. But some of New Albany’s lines, especially in the older sections of town, are in such bad shape that they will have to be replaced. That could cost millions.
We continue to be impressed with Mattox’s professional approach to these problems. We think the utility is on the right track.