UPDATE, Sunday, 11:30 a.m.:
Charleston Mayor Sedrick Smith said officials continue to work toward the restoration of full pressure for the city's water system.
Line leaks and people leaving their faucets on are two hindrances to the buildup of systemwide pressure, Smith noted.
Still, the mayor said it is hoped pressure can be rebuilt today.
City officials have been distributing bottled drinking water to residents of the city, and Smith said undrinkable water also is available to anyone who needs it to fill their toilet tanks.
Barring any further setbacks due to weather, such as line breaks or leaks, city of Charleston officials believe the municipal water system should be restored to full pressure sometime on Saturday.
"We're at a low flow, but it's a steady flow," Mayor Sedrick Smith said shortly before 3 p.m. Friday. "It's the best we've had in three days."
Former city water department manager Johnnie Taylor, who is assisting in the restoration of water service, said there is a methodical process involved in restoring a full flow.
"We've got to fill the lines — everybody's service lines — and then we'll have to fill the elevated water tank [at the city industrial park], but the water should be back on today and we hope for full pressure Saturday," said Taylor, who manages the North Tallahatchie Water Association.
Charleston water service has been sporadic since Wednesday after record-low temperatures in the single digits caused lines to freeze and pipes to break or otherwise spring leaks. Smith said officials have been chasing one leak after another over the past couple of days.
Late Thursday, the city issued a boil water alert for all customers who get their water from the Charleston Water Department or the East Charleston Water Association.
Even when water service is restored, people should boil their water for at least 1 minute before drinking it.
Once city water samples have been cleared by the Mississippi State Department of Health, the boil water alert will be lifted.
When a distribution system loses pressure, contaminants can siphon back into the water. Public health officials consider any system that loses pressure contaminated until tests prove otherwise. Health officials strongly recommend that all water be boiled vigorously for 1 minute before it is consumed.
According to an MSDH listing, Charleston is one of about 50 water systems statewide under a boil water alert at the present time.