The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has declared a public drinking water supply emergency in the city of Jackson.
The declaration was made upon receipt of the following:
- Insufficient number of certified operators at J.H. Fewell and O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plants
- Insufficient number of maintenance staff at all water treatment plants and to support the distribution system
- Failure of multiple raw water pumps at O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant
- Low levels of water in storage tank
- Low water pressure impacting proper sanitation and education opportunities
- Disinfection levels not consistently optimal developing the potential to have the presence of enteric organisms, including but not limited to, E.Coli, Cryptosporidium, or Giardia in the drinking water being served to customers
“The State Health Officer hereby orders that the City of Jackson including, but not limited to, employees of the Public Works Department and Emergency Management immediately cooperate with state response teams and contractors deployed to augment current staffing and to take remediation actions deemed necessary by the State Incident Commander,” the emergency order reads.
The emergency order from the MSDH, which comes less than 14 hours after Governor Tate Reeves issued a state of emergency over Jackson’s water crisis, will remain in effect for at least the next 120 days.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is currently working with locals to identify water distribution sites.