Jackson again issues boil water advisory amid winter weather

Officials in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, issued another boil water advisory in December following pressure issues in the distribution system caused by leaks amid severe winter weather that engulfed much of the United States over the holidays.

“The issue has to be significant leaks in the system that we have yet to identify,” read a Dec. 26 update from the water department. “We are continuing the search, supplementing our workforce with EPA and contractor resources….We know that many area are without water and pressure. We know that for some, this problem has been consistent for days. The entire water team apologizes for this situation. We all look forward to the day our collective investments in the water system make events like this a distant memory.”

As of this morning, it appears the system has restored pressure to near normal levels. According to an update posted Monday, Jan. 2, from interim water manager Ted Henifin:

“We continue to make progress restoring the system pressures. However, still have to put MORE water into the system than is used on typical days. That’s because we have to account for the tremendous losses due to the deep freeze. If things continue as planned, system pressure should largely be close to normal by tomorrow morning.

“We are asking residents to continue conserving as much water as possible. This will help us get pressure and water to those that have suffered without any water since Christmas Eve.

“We are conducting more sampling today with hopes of lifting the precautionary boil water notice in another section of the City tomorrow. Remaining areas will be sampled tomorrow in hopes of fully lifting the notice on Wednesday the 4th.

“All of these plans are contingent on our tenuous treatment processes and vulnerable distribution system holding together for the next few days.”

As many will know, Jackson has made headlines this year for the problems in its distribution system. This summer, the city issued a boil-water notice on July 29 as a result of pressure issues at the O.B. Curtis Water Plant that resulted in low or no water distribution pressure for many Jackson customers. The low pressure was caused by the flooding of the Pearl River causing low tank levels and other disruptions to the treatment process. By Aug. 29, the city proclaimed an emergency as a result of excessive rainfall and extreme flooding, which prevented parts of the system from delivering any running potable water to most of the population of approximately 160,000 served, thereby foreclosing use of running water for basic drinking, hygiene and safety purposes such as washing hands, showering, flushing toilets, fighting fires and washing dishes. The July 29 boil notice was not lifted until Sept. 15.

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