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September 19, 2023

RE: Updates for Punkin Water Projects

A joint pre-construction conference was held last week for both the Punkin Water Extension Project and the Punkin Water Booster project and members of the Punkin Water Board were present. Contracts have been executed for both projects and the contractors are taking all necessary steps to begin work.


Eubank Construction Company Inc will begin work on the water main extension project in the coming weeks. However, neither an exact start date nor a starting location has been finalized at this time. Utility locate requests are being identified now in the area of County Road 217 to allow the contractor to view the area of future connection between the new line and an existing Punkin water line. Work is also underway to transfer possession of all pre-ordered materials from the City of Oxford to the contractor.


The water extension project consists of installing a 16” water main from approximately Cannon Road to County Road 217 and connecting to the existing 10” water main that currently serves Punkin Water. A new 8” water main will also be constructed on a portion of County Road 217 to connect residents near Deer Run and Old Oaks to City of Oxford water.


When active construction begins, it is anticipated that the contractor will temporarily “skip” the actual connection point between the City of Oxford and Punkin Water (near Cannon Road), which requires two road bores. Instead, work will likely first begin further into the project limits in order to install lines that are being buried by a normal trench excavation operation. As the new line is being installed, the new service connections will be installed up to the existing meter but will not be connected until the new water main has been pressure tested, disinfected and tested for water quality. This will affect a limited number of customers in the immediate area and additional information regarding this process and any impacts to water service will be provided in future project status updates.


At this time, work will be performed within right-of-way of the Mississippi Department of Transportation, county roads or within existing easements and may require single-lane closures in areas. Cleveland Construction was awarded the contract for the pressure booster station and has provided submittals (a type of shop drawing) for the booster station for review and approval. The materials will be ordered and active construction is anticipated to begin in the late winter/early spring.


Additional details and information regarding the start of construction will be provided as soon as possible. We are excited to begin work on these critical projects! To download a copy of this report, please click here.

July 10, 2023

Great news!  The end of Punkin Water Association and the transition of its members to the City of Oxford is in sight.  Like you, the Board has been very frustrated at the slow progress on this project.  Most of the delay has been from getting the pipe.  Some of it has been from right-of-way conflicts’ that the City has experienced installing the first phase of the project, the water line to Brittany Woods. In the interim, the Board has worked diligently and applied for, and obtained a federal Grant to pay for the infrastructure. There has been great progress:


  • PWA has been awarded a $2,332,739 grant that will be used to pay for infrastructure.

  • The Project to replace the meters with new electronic read-only meters have been completed. Concurrent monthly meter reading (manually and electronically) is being done to test that the meters are functioning correctly.

  • After the delay related to pipe, bids have been advertised for the final infrastructure projects to provide Punkin Customers water.

  • Pipe to connect to Oxford and new pumps to resolve pressure issues will start in September and be compete in 6-9 months from then.


WE NEED TO THANK OUR REPRESENTATIVE CLAY DEWEESE and SENATOR NICOLE BOYD FOR THEIR HELP ON THIS PROJECT.  They introduced changes to the law to allow Oxford to provide water to PWA  They were also instrumental in obtaining the Grant to pay for the PWA infrastructure.  PLEASE SUPPORT THEM IN THE UPCOMING PRIMARY ON AUGUST 8, and GENERAL ELECTION ON NOVEMBER 7. Who knows when we may need their help again?


The Board is keenly aware of the issues with operating a system at 98% capacity.  The lack of spare capacity causes severe pressure issues at heavy usage times or when there is a line break causing a rapid draw down on the water level of the tank.  The water supply from the wells is inadequate to keep the tank full when this happens. Pressure in the tank drops until the tank slowly refills when usage is lower.  To add to the problem, some houses are at an elevation height level that is above the level of water in the tank. Water will not flow uphill.  


Moving to Oxford water mitigates the pressure problem in several ways:


  • Increased capacity - Their tank is much larger

  • Increased water flow - Their supply line is much bigger than the well pipeline

  • A new dual pump, variable flow, high-capacity pump station will  help keep the tank full under heavy load.  This design allows the tank to be taken offline to be cleaned and still run the water system

  • Reduced number of members on our tank - All members off of Campground Road, including Old Oaks and Deere Run will be serviced by the tank behind Kroger, not the Punkin Water tank


Why will we continue using Punkin Water Tank?  It provides consistent pressure to each house, based on elevation to the tank.  It also limits the risk of pipe damage from too much pressure.

The Board will continue to provide more updates on progress on the PWA website.  You will also be able to see it first hand as pipe is laid on Hwy 6.  Thank you for your patience and remember no Board member is paid to serve you.  We do it for the long term good of its members.  We, like you, will be glad and thankful when this process is completed.


Respectfully Yours,


Punkin Water Association Board of Directors

June 28, 2023

The meter replacement project has been completed and Oxford will soon be making the final payment to the contractor. The City has been pleased with how the project has progressed and hope the members of the Pun kin Water system are as well. With that project complete, all attention has turned to the next two phases which include extending the water main from the City of Oxford to the Punkin system and installing a pressure booster station.
The water line extension and booster station projects are currently being advertised and the City will receive those bids on Tuesday, July 25th. It is anticipated that the Board of Alderman will consider the award of these bids on August 1st_ Following Board approval, the City will execute all contract documents and issue a Notice to Proceed so the contractors can begin work.
Once awarded, a preconstruction conference will be held for each project to discuss the details of construction, including the construction progress schedule or timeline. The City has pre-purchased most of the materials for the water line extension project in order to decrease the time that the project takes to complete and the construction of the water extension project is now anticipated to take 6-9 months to complete. These timelines may change and are approximated at this time. 
The Punkin Water Board will be invited to attend the preconstruction conference for each project, ensuring that Punkin Water is involved in all phases of the process to transition service of the Punkin Water system to the City of Oxford. Information regarding what to expect during construction and timelines will also be provided to the Punkin Water Board following the preconstruction conferences, similar to the meter replacement project. 
Once construction has begun, the City will be able to provide more accurate estimates regarding the anticipated date for all customers of Punkin Water System to be transferred to the City of Oxford. The demolition of the existing Pun kin Water Treatment Plant will be the last phase of the overall Pun kin Water Project and will be completed after the transfer of service to the City. Additional information will be provided following Board action on the bids and again following the preconstruction conferences. To download this update, click here

March 10, 2023

(Administered by the City of Oxford)

The City of Oxford has awarded a contract to Baird Construction Co. for the first of five projects within
the Punkin Water service area that are required for the successful transfer of the Punkin Water
Association to the City of Oxford. The first project in the Punkin Water service area is to replace the
current water meters with meters that meet the specifications of the City. Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

What is being done and why?

A contractor working for the City of Oxford will replace your existing water meter with a new meter that
meets City requirements for automated meters. This new meter will include Automatic
Meter Reading (AMR) technology that allows the meter to be read via a radio signal transmitted to
specialized equipment within a meter-reader vehicle when it drives past your home each month. The
City transitioned to this type of meter several years ago to improve customer service, reduce labor costs
associated with the manual reading of meters, prevent reading and/or recording errors, minimize wear
and tear on vehicles, and potentially allow water line leaks to be identified earlier.

When will meter replacement begin?

On Monday, March 13, 2023, work will begin on CR 407 and continue in the same order as meters are
read monthly. Work on the first day will be minimal to ensure that the software incorporating meter
information into the billing system is functioning completely. Work will then proceed to CR 409 and
Tuscan Hills. Periodic updates will be provided to the Punkin Water Board to share regarding the areas
of work as the contractor progresses.

Will my water service be interrupted during the installation? What should I expect?

Yes. There will be a temporary service interruption during the meter replacement –
typically 20-30 minutes. Before turning off the water, the contractor will knock on the door and observe
the meter to ensure it is not spinning (indicating active water use inside the home). The water will then
be turned off at the meter and the old meter replaced with the new meter.
The contractor will record the unique identifier number for both the old and new meters and record the
meter display reading of the old meter. This information will be shared with Punkin Water Association
for billing purposes.

Once the water service is restored, the contractor will attempt to remove any air trapped in the service
line by turning on an outside faucet if accessible in the front yard. If some air is left in the line, you may
notice a sputtering sound the first time you operate a water fixture. This should only last a few seconds
and will not cause any harm. The first few gallons of water may be discolored and should be easily
cleared by running the cold water faucet for a few minutes.

If there is evidence of a leak near the meter, on either the customer side or the Punkin Water
Association side, the contractor will NOT change the meter until the leak has been repaired by the
appropriate owner. Punkin Water Association will be notified of the findings for further action.

The existing water meter box will be replaced with a new meter box if necessary. Otherwise, there will
be very little work necessary outside of the meter box or the area in front of your home.

How will I know who is working in front of my home?

Baird Contractor Co. employees will be wearing fluorescent yellow t-shirts with the company name. All
vehicles will be marked with the Baird logo (white background with blue writing) and the words “Water
meter Installation”. City of Oxford vehicles may be observed at times and will be marked with the City
of Oxford logo.

Will I pay more for water as a result of the change?

Your water rate, or how much you are billed per gallon of water used, will not change at the time the
new meter is installed. You will only see an increase in your monthly bill is if you have currently been
receiving water that is not registered by your existing meter. Receiving un-metered water can happen
over time as the mechanical parts in older water meters begin to wear.  This normal wear to mechanical
parts can result in the meters slowing down until the meter eventually stops registering water use
completely, causing inaccurate bills that do not reflect the water that is actually used.  These older
meters may not register water usage associated with a “running” toilet or a small leak in a service line.
There may be some number of meters on the Punkin Water System that have stopped working and the
customers have been paying a flat rate fee. If so, these customers will likely notice a change in their
monthly bill.

Will I still be able to read my meter or turn off my meter in the event of a leak at my home?

Yes, the new meters will have a display so meters can be read manually. The new meter can be turned
off by turning the valve on the meter the same as the old meter.

Who will I receive bills from after the new meter is installed?

Punkin Water Association will continue to own, operate, and provide customer service for the Punkin
Water System until all phases of the transfer to the City of Oxford are complete. Punkin Water
Association will continue all billing until then.

Who can I talk to about questions or concerns regarding the meter project?

All questions and concerns regarding construction during the meter change-out project can be directed
to Reanna Mayoral, City Engineer for the City of Oxford. Please feel free to email all questions to or call the office at (662)232-2306. If there are issues or concerns after
normal business hours, please fee free to call the City Engineer at (662)816-2107. Updates regarding
the meter project will also be provided to the Punkin Water Association’s Board to then share with the
association members throughout construction.

Who can I talk to regarding the overall transfer of the Punkin Water System to the City of Oxford?

Questions regarding the overall transfer, including timelines and updates, need to be directed to the
Punkin Water Association’s Board. The City communicates with the Board regularly and the Punkin
Water Board will be the only source of updates to the Punkin Water Association membership regarding
the overall transfer.


March 3, 2023

Materials have been delivered for the first phase of a five phase project to allow the City of Oxford to supply water to the customers of Punkin Water Association.  While there will be other materials delivered in the future for this phase, the materials on hand will allow the project to begin which will extend a 16” water main from Highway 334 to Cannon Road.  Eubanks Construction Company was the successful bidder and will be the contractor.  We expect work to begin early next week.


A pre-construction meeting for the meter replacement phase of the overall project has been scheduled.  Baird Construction, Inc., was the successful bidder and will be the contractor.  In the pre-construction meeting, the nuances of working in the area and working for the City of Oxford will be explained.  One and possibly the most important benefit of the pre-construction meeting is to allow the project to proceed with as little disruption to the residents as possible.  The meter replacement project will be allowed to commence immediately after the pre-construction meeting has concluded.  Currently, we anticipate the meter replacement phase will begin in the next few weeks.


The City of Oxford ordered pipe for phase 2 of the pipe line project in October 2022.  At that time the City was informed there was a 12 month lead time for delivery.  The City of Oxford explored other options with other vendors including some foreign manufacturers.  Recently, we were informed that pipe delivery could begin as early as this month.  With this new information, the City of Oxford is pressing forward to be able to bid the second phase of the pipe line project as soon as materials are on hand.  Currently, the City is planning to advertise for bids in the next few weeks and believe construction could begin in the next 60 days.


January 17, 2023 


The City of Oxford Board of Alderman accepted the contract bid from Baird Contracting Co. for the project to replace approximately 1,300 existing water meters within the Punkin Water system at the meeting on Tuesday, January 17th.  Work is estimated to begin in early Spring. Once all contract documents have been signed and the contract executed, a preconstruction conference will be held between the City and the Baird Contracting Co.  A representative from Punkin Water will be invited to attend as well.  The project schedule will be discussed at that time and additional information will then be provided to the Punkin Water Board for distribution to its members.  Information provided at that time will include answers to frequently asked questions, particularly regarding when the work will take place and what to expect during construction.  The replacement of the existing meters to those compatible with the City of Oxford billing system is one project of several required for the transfer of Punkin Water System to the City of Oxford.  The City has previously ordered pipe necessary to extend a water connection from the City limits to Punkin Water and will receive bids for the labor to install that pipeline later in the year.  Construction of a pressure booster station necessary to maintain water pressure within the Punkin Water System will also be advertised and bid later in the year.  The meter replacement project is the first step towards the successful transfer of service of the Punkin Water System to the City of Oxford.

December 20, 2022

The City advertised the bid for the Replacement of the PWA meters with Electronic Read Only Meters on December 11, 2022.  After bids are received and evaluated in mid-January, the project start date will be established.

November 21, 2022
Water Distribution
Plans and specifications have been approved by the Department of Health. Bid documents have been prepared. MDOT permit for pipe was approved on 8/8/22. All easements have been secured. The City has ordered $415,027.01 in pipe to be used on the project. Projected delivery of the various pipe sizes ranges from now through late September 2023. The 16” pipe, which is what the main distribution line will be, is expected in September. No work can begin until we have this pipe.
Booster Pumps
The project will involve the installation of booster pumps along the City's main feed to Punkin WA and is necessary to fully pressurize the system/fill the tank. Plans and specifications have been approved by the Department of Health. Bid documents have been prepared. MDOT permit for the booster station was submitted on 7/5/22 and the City is working on a lease agreement with MDOT for use of ROW. The advertising of this contract will need to be closely coordinated; with the City’s material order for the distribution contract so not to have delays since there will be lead times for these materials as well.
Meter Replacement
This project will involve replacing existing Punkin WA manual read meters with Master Meter Drive-By meters. City engineering consultant is finishing up the specifications on this project. Once complete the project will likely be advertised in early December. If so, given the one-month advertising period and holidays, the City can likely open bids in early January and begin installation in late February/early March. The meters have been ordered and will be delivered once the project begins.
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