Water Supply Failure in Jackson, Mississippi

A catastrophic failure of the water supply in Jackson is leaving state and local officials scrambling to deliver clean water to some 180,000 residents of the state’s capital.

2 minute read

August 30, 2022, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Pearl River floods with brown near downtown Jackson, Mississippi.

The Pearl River has been flooding for several days, potentially incapacitating the water supply of Jackson, Mississippi. | Chad Robertson Media / Shutterstock

Jackson, Mississippi lacks safe drinking water, and there’s no timetable for when drinking water will be restored for the city’s residents.

“We need to provide water for up to 180,000 people for an unknown period of time,” said Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves at a press conference on Monday night while declaring a state of emergency.

Nick Judin reports for Mississippi Free Press on the developing catastrophe in the Mississippi state capital, noting that the city’s water supply is “entirely unsafe to drink.”

“This is a very different situation from a boil water notice,” Reeves said at a press event [las night]. “Until it is fixed, we do not have reliable running water at scale. The city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to flush toilets and to meet other critical needs. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will take the state’s lead on distributing drinking water and non-drinking water to residents of the City of Jackson.”

According to the article, the city has been without clean, drinkable water for a month, but the O.B. Curtis water plant has since failed, lowering the flow of water through the city’s distribution system.

“While the city highlighted the potential flooding of structures at O.B. Curtis due to the high crest of the Pearl River over the weekend, officials have yet to firmly establish the direct causes of the plant failures at the water treatment plant,” according to the article.

“Operational failures at O.B. Curtis are downstream from the facility’s most pressing issue—a near complete lack of qualified personnel. Class A water operators and regular maintenance staff are sorely needed at O.B. Curtis,” writes Judin. “The governor said tonight that the State would be acquiring the operators necessary, and would split the cost with the City of Jackson.”

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has been warning residents to evacuate the city for several days.

Monday, August 29, 2022 in Mississippi Free Press

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