Boil water order issued for Jackson, MS amid deep freeze

Residents in the area have been warning of water problems for years

ByHannah Sarisohn, CNNWire
Tuesday, December 27, 2022
Another boil water advisory in Jackson, Mississippi
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After an unusually cold Christmas weekend, residents in Jackson, Mississippi, are facing yet another boil water advisory.

JACKSON, Mississippi -- The city of Jackson, Mississippi, is struggling to return pressure to its water system, after issuing a citywide boil water notice, the city said in a Monday morning update.

The troubled system lost pressure due to line breaks likely caused by the weather, according to an earlier statement from the city.

"We continue to struggle to return pressure to the water system," the city said. "We are producing significant amounts of water and pushing that into the system, but the pressure is not increasing -- despite those efforts at the plants."

The city asked residents to, "refrain from reporting pressure loss," as it said it's, "well aware of the system pressure issues."

The notice follows widespread problems in the fall with water pressure and brown water spewing from faucets and in toilets. Residents have been warning of the problems for years.

Last year, in February, a ferocious winter storm swept through parts of Mississippi, including the capital, and ruptured pipes and left tens of thousands of residents without water for weeks.

City officials said crews are working to find and repair the line breaks from this Christmas weekend, and are working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the update added.

Even if pressure is restored, the city said to still boil water until further notice. The city also listed several locations for water distribution on Monday, in a separate update.

The city asked citizens to turn off running faucets on Sunday afternoon while temperatures are above freezing. The city also asked residents to check their businesses and churches for leaks and broken pipes.

"We thank you in advance for your help and understanding. We understand the timing is terrible. Please know that we hate to issue the notice during the Christmas holiday," according to the statement.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued an emergency order in August after major operational failures at Jackson's O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant caused widespread problems with the city's water system.

Jackson has long faced issues with its water system. Residents and activists point to years of systemic neglect as one of the main drivers. Some city leaders have blamed the state for not answering their calls for assistance with upgrading the decrepit water system.

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