The boil water notice that was suppose to expire today has been extended for a portion of Jackson, MS. This comes after the shutdown at the J.H. Fewell Water Treatment Plant that left many residents without water and now, still without clean water.
The city’s current water woes isn’t the first time lead levels has been high enough to put young residents and pregnant women at risk. MDHS tested water from 58 homes in Jackson where 13 of those exceeded testing limits for lead. Random water samples were taken from homes early in the morning when pipes has set for at least 6 hours. The tests was concluded in June 2015, the results was received in July 2015 but wasn’t released to city officials until January 2016 by MDHS. Where then MDHS put the city on probation to keep the water system in compliance for 3 years. The city hasn’t made it even a year since the tests was concluded.
Restaurants are also affected by boil water notices. Most restaurants in Jackson serve well over 200 customers a day and depend on clean water for cooking and drinking.
MDHS has given the City notice and it could be fined up to $25,000 per day until water utilities becomes compliant. That means the potential for the City Council voting on raising taxes to offset those fines. MDHS has stated that fining the city isn’t the first course of action taken. MDHS named Triology Engineering Services, in a compliance plan, to perform a $400,000 Corrosion Control Study to help bring the City up to code after the water facility failed. Councilman Tyrone Hendrix stated, “I cannot in good conscience vote for this” and the proposal was unanimously voted against by the Jackson City Council.
This isn’t the end of water problems for the Capital City, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.