What to Expect

Why is my Tap Water Brown?

Some Hattiesburg residents are turning on the tap and seeing brown water

Brown water is usually caused by the presence of too much iron and/or manganese in the water. Sometimes it is caused when loosened rust particles inside water mains break free and become suspended in the water, thus causing it to appear brown. While the appearance is not appealing, brown water caused by too much iron, rust or manganese is not harmful to human health.

The brown water we are experiencing in Hattiesburg is typically caused by the aging infrastructure. As new construction takes place or a break in a water main occurs, the water pressure within the pipes goes up and down. This causes rust and/or iron clinging to the inner walls of the pipe to break free. When it enters the water stream, the suspended particles appear brown.

City of Hattiesburg officials are developing a plan to address the aging water and infrastructure system that will correct the brown water issue. This plan includes continuing efforts to replace the undersized lines and to clean water lines. Once a plan has been finalized, it will be made available on this site.

Meanwhile, if you experience brown water, you should open a faucet and run the water until it turns clear. For more information on brown water, go to Frequently Asked Questions.

Sewer and Water Rates – What you can expect

As the City of Hattiesburg continues to make much needed upgrades to its water system, users can expect to see slight increases through 2019. On average, water rates will increase by 5 percent each year beginning in September of 2016 and continuing until September of 2019.



The chart above depicts the anticipated increase per month for residential and nonresidential users.

Conservation is perhaps the most important step you can take to keeping your monthly water bill low. Among the things you can do: Fix leaking faucets and toilets that run-on; use reduced-water showerheads; where practical convert to low-water toilets, washers and dishwashers; eliminate water run-on when washing hands and dishes.

 Service Laterals: Who is Responsible?

Occasionally we receive calls from Hattiesburg citizens asking where the line of responsibility is drawn in terms of repairs to water service laterals and sewer service laterals.

Here’s a drawing that may help.



Generally speaking, if the water and sewer laterals (or lines or pipes) are located between your home/business and the property line, the responsibility for repairs to the laterals lies with the home or business owner. If the leak or break occurs between the property line and the water main, the responsibility for repairs to the lateral lies with the City.

As always, if you have questions concerning your sewer and water services please don’t hesitate to call.

  • Hattiesburg Water & Sewer Department: 601.545.4530
  • Billing Inquiries, Turn-Ons, Cut-Offs: 601.545.4634
  • Request for Services: 601.545.4500
  • After Hours Problems: 601.545.4635