The city of Jackson was put on yet another boil-water notice on Saturday after the Mississippi State Department of Health discovered high levels of turbidity in the water. Now, one state leader is proposing a more permanent solution to aid in the recurring issue.
After experiencing numerous issues with the city’s water at the state fairgrounds, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson decided to have a well dug in the winter of 2021. This would prevent amenities at the fairgrounds — such as the Trade Mart, the Mississippi Coliseum, and Farmer’s Market — from being at the mercy of Jackson water.
“We have not been drinking Jackson water since the winter because we finished our well last winter,” Gipson said in an interview on The Gallo Radio Show. “We started that when the freeze shut everything down in ’21 and we couldn’t even flush the commodes in the coliseum, so I said, ‘We’ve got to do something.’ We drilled a well, and it is complete.”
In addition, Gipson had an engineer survey the landscape of downtown Jackson in order to maximize the usage of the well water. Gipson also stated that he believes a larger portion of the city can be put on well water and that it would rid those areas of the constant boil-water alerts.
“We’ve got a solution for the downtown Jackson area — to put it all on well water — if anybody wants to talk about that. This surface water stuff at the reservoir is what put them on a boil-water notice this time,” Gibson said. “We don’t have to worry about that because we’re on good, clean well water that people can drink, livestock can drink. There’s plenty of it. We’re blessed in Mississippi with a lot of underground aquifer water resources, and there’s a huge underground reservoir right under the city of Jackson that we oughta be taking advantage of.”
Gipson noted that there is a way to tie in the well that they are using at the fairgrounds with an existing one that is untapped at the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) headquarters in Jackson. He estimates it would cost roughly $8 million to construct an elevated tank above the well at the fairgrounds’ site to tie into the MDOT well, which would provide well water for the entire downtown capital complex area.