City's Residents Told They Can Drink the Water Again

Mississippi health official immediately issues caveats
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2022 6:55 PM CDT
Mississippi Tells Capital Tap Water Is Safe Now
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announces on Thursday that the state-imposed boil-water notice has been lifted in Jackson.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(Newser) – After nearly seven weeks of being forced to boil their water before drinking it or using it to brush teeth, people in Mississippi's largest city were told Thursday that water from the tap is safe to consume—but Jackson's water system still needs big repairs that the mayor says the cash-strapped city cannot afford on its own. Gov. Tate Reeves and Jackson officials said in separate announcements that the state health department lifted a boil-water notice that had been in place since July 29 in the city of 150,000, the AP reports. "We have restored clean water to the city of Jackson," Reeves said during a news conference.

However, a state health department official, Jim Craig, said households with pregnant women or young children should take precautions because of lead levels previously found in some homes on the Jackson water system. Craig said that although recent testing showed "no lead or lead below the action levels" set by the EPA, people should continue to avoid using city water to prepare baby formula. Emergency repairs are still underway after problems at Jackson's main water treatment plant caused most customers to lose service for several days in late August and early September. The water system remains “imperfect," Reeves said.

“It is possible, although I pray not inevitable, that there will be further interruptions,” Reeves said. “We cannot perfectly predict what may go wrong with such a broken system in the future." Jackson is the largest city in one of the poorest states in the US. The city has a shrinking tax base that resulted from white flight, which began about a decade after public schools were integrated in 1970. Jackson's population is more than 80% Black, and about 25% of its residents live in poverty, per the AP. Like many American cities, Jackson struggles with aging infrastructure with water lines that crack or collapse. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, a Democrat in a Republican-led state, said the city's water problems come from decades of deferred maintenance.

(Read more Jackson, Mississippi stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X