A chemist with the Mississippi State Department of Health has ordered the City of Jackson to enact a boil water notice for all city water customers due to high turbidity of surface water with possible disease-causing bacteria, city officials said in a press release issued Saturday.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said in a media briefing that the city’s water treatment facility is fragile and outdated, which contributes to a portion of the issue.
“The old system demands resources for residents and not someone who just wants revenue,” Lumumba said. “In 2016 the city was required to move away from lime slurry due to the fluctuations in turbidity levels. Since then, we’ve retrofitted the water plant to provide soda ash, which we believe is more present with today’s standards for residents, but does not solve the issue in its entirety.”
Lumumba said he is unsure when the notice will end.
“Concerning the current boil water notice there will be a meeting between our public works department, and the Department of Health to discuss the inconsistency of turbidity levels,” Lumumba said of when the boil water order might be lifted. “We have a responsibility to try to move to a more present consistency that provides residents with cleaner water.”
The test results were released on Thursday.
“Water samples were taken that raised concerns with 1 to 2 levels of turbidity levels, which is above the standard .3 turbidity units that elevate during the summer,” a city press release states. “The level of manganese combined with the use of lime caused an increase in turbidity at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.”
The advisory affects approximately 46,000 water connections in Jackson, officials said.
Residents in the Jackson area are advised to proceed with caution when using water due to the bacteria and parasites that could cause nausea, cramps, headaches and diarrhea, the press release states. The notice does not mean that your water is unsafe.
To help avoid those symptoms, the City of Jackson recommends residents boil their water when doing everyday necessities:
- Cooking or baking
- Making ice cubes
- Taking medication
- Brushing your teeth
- Washing food
- Mixing baby formula
- Mixing juices or drinks
- Feeding pets
- Washing dishes
In addition, the city of Jackson distributed bottles of water at fire stations in Jackson on Monday afternoon. Residents will be notified when the advisory is lifted.
For more information, contact Marlin King at 601-960-2091 or P. O. Box 17, Jackson, MS 39205. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.