Jackson, Mississippi Lifts Boil Water Advisory After Governor Announces Clean Water

by Lauren Boisvert

Jackson, Mississippi has been in a water crisis since late August after a damaged pipe caused the city to go without water until fairly recently. The city was already under a boil water advisory since July, after tests showed the water was “cloudy.” Then, the Pearl River flooding damaged the water system, leading to nearly 150,000 people going without water.

Now, Governor Tate Reeves has announced that Jackson has clean, running water again. “On Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health officially began testing water quality,” Gov. Reeves said in a statement. “We can now announce we have restored clean water to the city of Jackson. The boil water advisory can be lifted for all those who rely on Jackson’s water system.”

Jackson, Mississippi Lifts Boil Water Advisory, Announces City Now Has Clean Water

Previously, the city was distributing bottled water to residents. Other aid organizations responded with tanks of potable water for the school district. Public schools briefly returned to online learning when the city first went without water but returned in person recently.

“We will continue to closely monitor the water conditions on a day-by-day basis at our schools while conferring with city officials to determine when scholars and staff can safely return for in-person learning,” the district announced in August.

Recently, the O.B. Curtis Water Plant saw an increase in water pressure. The goal was 87 PSI, but the new pressure was up to 90 PSI. “Multiple tanks are approaching full,” the city announced in a statement. We no longer have any tanks at low levels. All of Jackson should now have pressure and most are now experiencing normal pressure.”

The pressure was returned on September 6, but the city was still under a boil water advisory until today, September 15. Residents previously shared looks at the horrifying water quality on social media.

City Has Clean Water, But Mayor Says They’re Still in Water Crisis

Speaking with ABC’s “This Week” recently, Jackson mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said that the city is still in a water crisis. According to Lumumba, Jackson is in an emergency and “will be in an emergency even as the water is restored to every home, and even as the boil water notice is lifted, because that is the fragile state of our water treatment facility.”

The New York Times picked up on the water crisis in Jackson, commenting on Gov. Reeves’ statement regarding water distribution. Reeves suggested that residents “leave those resources for those who absolutely need them.” The NYT replied, “Who doesn’t absolutely need water?”

Jackson residents noticed this exchange and commented on the state of their city, seemingly reinforcing what Mayor Lumumba said about the crisis. One resident replied on Twitter, “If you’re a non-Mississippian reading this thread, you should know our government has passed on every opportunity to help with this and has consistently called it a Jackson problem.”