By Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress
The town of Sherman has recently garnered the award of having the best drinking water in Mississippi.
“It is quite an honor for us to have this,” said Mayor Ben Logan.
Sherman’s public works director Clint Long said he and the men who work for the town have striven to improve the drinking water over these past few years.
“When we started maintaining the system we began doing a system wide flush, to flush out stirred up sediment from the tank,” Long said.
“We start at the tank and go to the ends of the lines,” he explained.
That means the sediment laden water is drained out of the tank and pushed through the water lines and flushed out at the end of the lines.
And to make sure that the water isn’t wasted, Long coordinates with the fire department on the days that the lines are being flushed.
“The fire chief does a flow capacity test on that day, so we work hand-in-hand,” he noted.
In addition to this Long also installed new flush valves on the end of the lines.
“If we have a customer that complains about the water on their line, we can flush just that line.”
Long said this is something he certainly can’t do by himself.
“First, we have a good mayor and board of aldermen that supports whatever we need to improve the town. That is important.”
Chuck Thompson and John Paul Grose are also on hand helping Long with whatever projects are needed throughout the town.
“Through their help we have improved the over all capacity rate or maintained the same rate throughout the town.”
Long said that water samples are pulled on a weekly basis on one end of the line, “to make sure we have the right amount of chlorine and we keep that in our records.”
Long explained how the best drinking water in Mississippi award came about.
“The health department comes out once a year and checks our record keeping and maintenance of the wells and tanks,” he said. “They also pull water samples.”
Long said the state grading system goes from a 1-5, with five being the highest grade you can get.
“When we started the system it was at 3.5. We have steadily gone up, and the last grade we got, which gave us the award was a 4.7.”
But all the awards in the world don’t match the day-to-day contact Long has with the people in the town.
“The most important thing we do is try to accomodate the customer. If a customer has a complaint we personally go to them and let them know that we are working to correct the problem.
“We have 335 meters and maintain approximately six miles of water lines,” he said.
Not only that the three man team has a variety of other jobs to do as well.
“We do everything from emptying trash cans at the park to catching snakes in the doctors office,” Long said. He grinned.
“And that speaks well of the staff as a whole.”