Mississippi Floods: Officials Announce Major Update About Water Pressure, Boil-Water Advisory

by Lauren Boisvert

Residents in Jackson, Mississippi have had water pressure restored, but city officials warned they are still under a boil-water advisory. This announcement comes after a pump was damaged at one of Jackson’s major water treatment plants. This caused Jackson residents to be completely without water for what officials were calling an indefinite amount of time. Now, repairs on the pump are underway, and the city is slowly regaining access to clean water.

The damage occurred at the O.B. Curtis Water Plant. According to a news release from the city, the pressure goal was 87 pounds per square inch. But, with the repairs, they were able to reach 90 PSI. “Multiple tanks are approaching full,” the statement reads. “We no longer have any tanks at low levels. All of Jackson should now have pressure and most are now experiencing normal pressure.”

The boil-water advisory is still in effect. It will be until the city can report two rounds of clear water samples. Residents should use bottled water or boil water for one minute for things like “drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation,” said the city’s website.

Meanwhile, some residents are worried that the renewed water pressure will break old pipes. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” that the city 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.”

Jackson, Mississippi Restores Pressure But Remains Under Boil-Water Advisory

The city’s water issue briefly caused public schools to return to online learning. With no water to flush toilets, drink from fountains, or wash their hands, the school district made the decision to send everyone back home.

“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 late August. Meanwhile, there was no water for fighting fires or doing simple tasks like brushing teeth or showering. The water was, and still is, “raw” and straight from the reservoir.

Additionally, Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency and dispatched the National Guard. He announced that bottled water would be distributed to Jackson residents, but advised that they “leave those resources for those who absolutely need them.” The New York Times picked up on this wording and wrote back, “Who doesn’t absolutely need water?”

Jackson, Mississippi residents took to Twitter to comment on the state of things in their city as well. One user replied to the New York Times, “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.”