WATCH: Mississippi National Guard Distributes Clean Water to Thousands of Jackson Residents

by Craig Garrett

The National Guard of Mississippi has sent soldiers and airmen to assist residents of Jackson in receiving clean water. Since September 1, almost 600 members have given out water to over 120,000 automobiles at four locations around the city. They’ve been giving out both clean bottled water and non-potable water. The news website Now This shared footage of the National Guard helping on Twitter.

Major General Janson D. Boyles spoke to the press about the process. “I am bringing soldiers and airmen from all over the state to help with this. 600 men and women who will be helping distribute water all over Jackson.”

The city’s water supply is in crisis, with severe flooding destroying one of the water treatment facilities. While water pressure has returned to normal, the city was under a boil water advisory, meaning the water exiting the tap is unsafe to drink.

Jackson’s tap water is supposedly safe to drink again

The governor of Mississippi’s capital city, Gov. Tate Reeves, and city officials said on Thursday that the boil-water notice had been lifted after nearly seven weeks.”We have restored clean water,” Reeves told reporters. Jim Craig, an official from the state health department said that people should continue to avoid using Jackson water to prepare baby formula because of high levels of copper and lead.

Jackson’s main water treatment plant caused many customers to lose service for days in late August and early September, PBS News Hour reports. Emergency repairs are still underway. Problems began days after central Mississippi experienced severe rain, which changed the quality of water entering Jackson’s treatment plants. This slowed down the treatment process, emptied supplies in water tanks, and caused a sudden drop in pressure.

Jackson has had issues with clean water for years

If water pressure falls, untreated groundwater might be able to get into the water system through damaged pipes. As a result, customers are advised to boil their water in order to eliminate any harmful bacteria that could be present. Some water pumps failed before the rain, and a treatment plant was relying on backup engines to keep the water clean. Because of the poor quality of the water, Mississippi’s Department of Health issued a boil-water notice for a month.

Jackson is the capital of one of the poorest states in the country. The city’s tax base is shrinking as a result of white flight, which started about a decade after public schools were integrated in 1970. Jackson has an African American population of more than 80%, and around 25% of its residents are impoverished. Boil-water orders have been issued frequently because of pressure or other difficulties that can render the water contaminated. Some of the requirements are in place for only a few days, while others endure weeks. Some are limited to certain areas, usually owing to defective pipes in the region. Others apply to everyone on the water system.