Photo: Getty
  /  09.16.2022

The boil-water notice has been lifted in Jackson, Mississippi after nearly seven weeks, Governor Tate Reeves said at a news conference on Thursday (Sept. 15).

“On Tuesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health began officially conducting tests of the water quality. They collected 120 samples for two consecutive days. We can now announce that we have restored clean water to the city of Jackson,” Gov. Reeves announced.

The city had been under the boil-water notice since July 29 after tests found a cloudy quality to city-supplied water that could hinder the disinfection process and lead to illness. The problem started when excessive rainfall and flooding pushed the city’s water treatment plant to failure, resulting in little to no water pressure for most residents. The boil-water notice meant tap water needed to be boiled before being used to drink, cook, make ice, wash dishes or brush teeth.

Although the notice has been lifted, officials are still warning residents that it is possible that there will be further interruptions to Jackson’s water system. “While we have restored water quality, the system is still imperfect, and we’re going to address issues throughout the duration of the state’s response, Gov. Reeves stated.

The National Guard and many volunteer groups have distributed millions of water bottles to residents since late August. CNN reports that the city’s water problems go back years, with boil-water notices becoming a normal thing. In 2020, the system failed an EPA inspection that found the drinking water had the potential to host harmful bacteria or parasites.

The problems are largely systemic and have included struggles with aging infrastructure with water lines that crack or collapse, malfunctions at treatment plants and insufficient money for repairs, according to a report by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting at the beginning of this year.

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