Thursday, February 25, 2021

MLGW water crews “fish” for mains

 MLGW water crews “fish” for mains


Finding a water main is almost like searching for Waldo in a “Where’s Waldo” book. Last Saturday, a water crew hunted for one several hours in the middle of Chelsea Street in North Memphis. The main was buried four to six feet underground. 

Because of the severe weather recently, MLGW’s water crews work around the clock finding and repairing dozens of water main breaks. The breaks, high consumption and low water pressure forced MLGW to issue a boil water advisory. It was the first one in decades.

The hardest part is finding the water main itself. Until they can pinpoint the main’s exact location, they can’t begin to listen to the sounds of water rushing out of the main from a leak. “We’re fishing for a water main,” Water Crew Leader Devon Hamilton. said. “Once you hear the loudest sound, it will tell you where the break is.” He’s listening for the sound of a faucet running at full stream.

After clearing snow from the street, the crew uses a pipe and cable locator red box to determine where to pop holes in the pavement with a drill.

With the holes drilled, a worker pushes in a six-foot rod hoping he hits the main. After a worker finds the water main, Hamilton hunkers down with an ear phone listening intently for the loudest sound of flowing water. His crew stands by patiently. “Can you hear it?” they ask. Finally, he pinpoints the location.  

Once the hole in the main is uncovered, workers install band clamps that act like liquid glue in stopping the leak. Before leaving for their next assignment, they wait for the operator to return to fill the hole. It’s all in a day’s (or night’s) work for our MLGW water crews.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Keth May, MLGW's Arborist

Keith May, General Supervisor, Line Clearance, has been with MLGW for 25 years. He worked as a Forester for five years before becoming General Supervisor. What many may not realize is that he is also an arborist. Keith says, “You can become an arborist by getting a college degree in Arborculture or you can get certified by the International Society of Arborculture (ISA), which is what I did.” The certification involves taking courses and passing tests in about 8 to 10 different domains (i.e. tree biology, tree identification, soils, cabling and bracing, safety, insects and diseases, etc.).

Having an arborist on staff is a plus for the utility. Keith says, “A utility arborist specializes in the maintenance and removal of trees or other vegetation to ensure the proper functioning of the electric power lines and/or equipment without interference.”

Monday, January 11, 2021

MLK Day of Service Events, COVID Edition

Our team brainstormed some ways to safely serve our community and commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. Days of Service.

On Thursday, January 14, MLGW will host a virtual EnergySmart Workshop from 10 -11 a.m. to learn how to save energy and save money. Interested participants can register at

Neighborhood registrants logged in for the entire session will receive a free energy weatherization kit valued at $50. Only workshop attendees will receive this free energy kit.

MLGW volunteers will provide free energy kits through a mobile drive-thru being held at the Douglass Community Center (1616 Ash St.) on Friday, January 15 from 9 -11 a.m.

To receive a free energy kit, valued at $10, Douglass neighborhood residents will need to display a post card on their dash and follow the flow of the drive through at the Douglass Community Center. A MLGW volunteer will distribute one free energy kit per car. All volunteers will wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines