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Jackson MS water crisis resolved within 24 hours of Corps of Engr on site

Update: Sept. 15, 2022

JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves and Jackson leaders announced the boil water notice for all customers has been lifted, per the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). Neighbors are advised to run their faucets for a few minutes to clear any old water.

The governor declared a state of emergency due to Jackson’s water crisis on August 29. The city was initially placed under a boil water notice since July 29.

Reeves said the emergency orders will remain in place.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Small Business Administration approved Governor Tate Reeves’ request for assistance for businesses that have been affected by the Jackson water crisis.

Many businesses within Hinds County, including the City of Jackson, have experienced economic losses due to total or near total loss of water pressure following the Pearl River flooding in late August 2022.

“These low interest loans will go a long way to support our Jackson businesses and help them make it through the ongoing water crisis,” said Reeves. “I’m committed to ensuring that we both restore clean water to the city and relieve the burdens of this crisis for Jacksonians.”

 

Businesses in Hinds County and the following contiguous counties are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs):  Claiborne, Copiah, Madison, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, and Yazoo. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.

 

The application filing deadline is June 14, 2023.

 

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomer[email protected] for more information on SBA disaster assistance.


Update: Sept. 14, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility remained at steady pressure over the last 24 hours and is currently operating at 89 PSI.

Leaders with the City of Jackson said all tanks are currently maintaining good margins for overhead storage. Onsite storage at the plant has gained some additional margin.

According to officials, the city has received isolated reports of discolored water and pressure issues. However, they said the reports are decreasing each day. They also said many of these issues are related to routine water leaks or meter issues.

On Tuesday, September 13, overall water production increased again yesterday. The membrane plant set a new recent record of 16 million gallons in a day. The conventional plant also increased production.

Significant progress was made on Tuesday with repairs, cleaning and maintenance of the raw water micro screens which are critical to the water intake process. Filter #4 on the conventional side was repaired and started the cleaning process to be returned to service.

Repairs to solenoids, backwash valves and actuators were made on various membrane trains on Tuesday.

A large group of EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) teams are now on site to supplement OB Curtis staff in addition to assistance from the Mississippi Rural Water Association. The teams onsite are from South Carolina, Michigan, Maryland and Ohio. These teams include operators, mechanics, instrument technicians and maintenance. 

This work will expand to the J.H. Fewell Water Plant on Wednesday, September 14.

Investigative sampling continues in expanded capacity on Wednesday to monitor water quality. Hydrant flushing is occurring is certain areas. Leaders said this is intentional and may cause some lower pressure in the immediate area of flushing.  

Crews will continue to evaluate when full sampling can begin. Jackson remains under a boil water notice.


Update: Sept. 13, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson leaders said the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility remained at steady pressure over the past 24 hours and is currently working at 89 PSI.

Leaders also said that all tanks are maintaining good margins of overhead storage, and pressure should be stable throughout the city.

However, the city has received isolated reports of discolored water and pressure issues. They said many of the issues are related to routine water leaks or meter issues.

If you are experiencing discolored water or no pressure, you can report using this tool: https://arcg.is/0LDmjb.

Overall water production increased on Monday, September 12, according to officials. The membrane plant increased significantly and the conventional side maintained production levels. The team continues to work to increase production capacity.  

Leaders said significant progress was made on Monday with additional repairs and cleaning on the membrane plant. This included repairs to actuators and controls and work to restore automation.

Repairs in the conventional plant were made to the Filter #6 flow meter which will allow for more accurate monitoring of the conventional system water production.  

Investigative sampling will be expanded on Tuesday, September 13 to monitor water quality. Hydrant flushing is occurring in certain areas. This is intentional and may cause some lower pressure in the immediate area of flushing. 

Leaders said they will evaluate when full sampling can begin. The city remains under a boil water notice.


Update: Sept. 12, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson leaders said the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility continues to remain at steady pressure. As of Monday, September 12, the plant was working at 88 PSI.

Officials said overall water production increased on Sunday, September 11 on both the membrane and conventional side of the plant. All tanks are maintaining good margins of overhead storage.

Raw water pump #4 is being pulled back from the pump platform on Monday. It was determined when it was installed Saturday that it requires additional repair. Leaders said this does not affect current plant input. All raw water pumps that were in use remain in use, including the temporary rental pump.

According to officials, sedimentation Basin #2 cleaning was completed and has been placed back in service on the conventional plant. Membrane Train #6 completed cleaning on Sunday, and Membrane Train #1 will be placed in cleaning cycle on Monday.

A large group of Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) teams are now on site supplementing O.B. Curtis staff in addition to the assistance from the Mississippi Rural Water Association. The teams onsite are from South Carolina, Michigan and Maryland. Additional teams from Ohio will arrive on Monday.

Investigative sampling will continue on Monday to monitor water quality. At this time the distribution system is not ready for full sampling to clear the boil water notice.

If you are experiencing discolored water or no pressure please, report using this tool https://arcg.is/0LDmjb.

On Monday, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba announced he will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, September 13 to provide updates on the water system and take questions from neighbors.

The meeting will be from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at College Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

On Monday, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) requested a Small Business Administrative Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This declaration request is for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans for Hinds County, which covers businesses only.

 

“Jackson businesses have been hit incredibly hard by the ongoing water crisis,” said Reeves. “They have shown their resilience and their commitment to this city throughout the years, and my administration will continue to do everything it can to support them during this difficult time.”


Update: Sept. 10, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson city leaders announced that crews are working to get a raw water pump back in service at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant on Saturday, September 10.

Repaired raw water pump #4 arrived at the plant. It was placed back on the pump platform by crane. Now, crews will work to get the pump back in service.

Officials said the plant has remained at a steady pressure and is currently working at 88 PSI. All tanks are maintaining margins for overhead storage and made gains through the night. Pressure should be stable throughout city. 

Overall water production is continuing to improve. On Friday, September 9, the membrane plant production remained steady and the conventional side increased. Crews continues to work to increase production capacity.

Investigative sampling will continue to monitor water quality. City officials said the distribution system is not ready for full sampling to clear the boil water notice. They will continue to evaluate when full sampling can begin. This depends on sustained pressure. Crews will need two rounds of clear samples to be able to remove the boil water notice.


Update: Sept. 9, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson leaders announced more improvements at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility on Friday, September 9.

They said the plant remained at a steady pressure over the past 24 hours and is currently working at 87 PSI. Pressure is expected to be stable throughout city. 

Water production is continuing to improve. On Thursday, the O.B. Curtis membrane plant increased from 14.1 million gallons to 15.4 million gallons. The conventional side remained steady. Officials said this is the type of capacity increase the team has been working toward. 

The cleaning of conventional sedimentation basin #3 was completed on Thursday, and it has returned to service on Friday. Conventional sedimentation basin #2 has been taken offline for cleaning and sediment removal on Friday.

The ammonia water feed line was restored on Thursday. Officials said this will significantly improve water quality over the next three days. The repaired raw water pump is expected to arrive on Friday. Work will begin Saturday to put it back in service.

Investigative sampling will continue on Friday to monitor water quality. Officials said the distribution system isn’t ready for full sampling to clear the boil water notice. They said they will continue to evaluate when full sampling can begin. This will depend on sustained pressure. They will need two rounds of clear samples to be able to remove the boil water notice.

Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) said on Friday that the PH levels at the plant are showing dramatic improvement daily. However, it’s unlikely that the boil water notice will be lifted this weekend.

Leaders with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) said the state is phasing out non-potable water distribution. This comes as the water pressure in the City of Jackson continues to improve.

“Residents in Jackson and Byram have seen days of continuous water pressure. We’ve seen a significant decrease in the need for non-potable water at our sites. We feel confident in phasing out some non-potable water distribution,” said MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney. 

Starting Saturday, September 10, Metrocenter Mall will be the only site providing non-potable water, water used for flushing toilets. All four sites will continue distributing drinking bottled water.

The following sites will be open for water pick-up daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. until further notice:

  • State Fairgrounds – 1207 Mississippi Street Jackson, MS
  • Metrocenter Mall – 3645 Highway 80 Jackson, MS (Non-potable)
  • Smith Wills Stadium – 1200 Lakeland Dr. Jackson, MS
  • Davis Road Park – 2300 Davis Road Terry, MS 39170

Update: Sept. 8, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson city leaders announced overall water production at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility increased from earlier in the week.

The plant produced 24.1 million gallons on Wednesday, September 7. The membrane plant produced 14.1 million gallons, and the conventional produced 10 million gallons. The membrane plant increased production from the prior day. City officials said the capacity increase is what the team has been working toward.

Crews rinsed out Sediment Basin 3 to prepare it to be brought back online. (Courtesy: MSDH)

The plant remained at a steady pressure over the past 24 hours and is currently working at 87 PSI. The gains made yesterday in the overhead storage tanks were maintained overnight.

More repairs to high service pumps that deliver pressure and water to the city were made yesterday. All high service pumps are now functional. Restoration of the ammonia water line continues on Thursday, September 8. Officials said this will help improve water quality in the distribution system. Automated processes are being restored each day. Work continues with restoration of the sludge plant.

Sedimentation Basin #3 was cleared of sediment on Wednesday. Work continues to clean that basin for further assessment. A mutual aid operator will start covering shifts over the coming days to supplement existing operators.

Investigative sampling will continue on Thursday to monitor water quality. City officials said the distribution system is not ready for full sampling to clear the boil water notice. They’ll continue to evaluate when full sampling can begin. This will depend on sustained pressure. They will need two rounds of clear samples to be able to remove the boil water notice.

Report discolored water or no pressure to the city with an online reporting tool.

Leaders with the Jackson Public School District (JPS) announced water pressure has been restored at Forest Hill High School.

According to officials, the high school building will be open for in-person learning on Thursday, September 8. All other JPS schools will also be open for in-person learning.

Leaders said they will continue to monitor the water pressure because it often fluctuates. They will make the necessary shifts to their daily school schedule as needed.

The City of Jackson remains under a boil water notice, and the district’s Child Nutrition team will use the clean water it has available and boil faucet water if needed to prepare food.


Update: Sept. 7, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) and Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba met with United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan to discuss the Jackson water crisis.

The leaders discussed financing options for long-term repairs and upgrades at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility. The water system lost pressure due to the flooding from the Pearl River more than one week ago.

Lumumba said the city is pursuing all available options for financing the repairs and that funding for system fixes will require affordability.

Reeves said the state will need assurances on city operations and billing management.

Earlier in the day, Regan met with Jackson neighbors to hear their input in the ongoing water crisis.

The O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility has remained at a steady pressure for more than 24 hours, according to the City of Jackson. Leaders said the plant is currently working at 87 PSI.

Chemical feed line installed at O.B. Curtis plant (Courtesy: MSDH)

Officials also said gains were made in the overhead storage tanks, and the margin that had been depleted on Monday was restored by Wednesday. All storage tanks have stable water levels.

On Tuesday, the membrane plant increased production by more than two million gallons from the previous day. Leaders said the four filters in operation on the conventional side are able to be controlled from the operations room instead of manually by a staff member.

Repairs to high service pumps that deliver pressure and water to the city were made on Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday. Restoration of the ammonia water line will happen on Wednesday in order to help improve water quality in the distribution system.

On Wednesday, contract crews began installing a chemical feed line at the plant. Leaders with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) said the line will eventually carry a water/ammonia mixture used for disinfection.

Investigative sampling will continue on Wednesday to monitor water quality. According to officials, the investigative samples from Tuesday were better than anticipated, but the distribution system is not ready for full sampling to clear the boil water notice.

Jackson has been until a boil water notice since July 29, 2022. There will need to be two rounds of clear samples in order to lift the boil water notice.

If you are experiencing discolored water or no pressure, you can report using an online tool.

The Jackson Public School District (JPS) will continue in-person learning districtwide on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Forest Hill High School will continue in-person learning on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. However, due to the continued lack of water, all Forest Hill students, staff, and administrators will return to other JPS schools.

All students will be bused from Forest Hill to relocated school sites assigned by grade level, where Forest Hill teachers will provide quality instruction. At the end of the school day, students will be transported back to Forest Hill for dismissal.

Relocation School Sites:

9th Grade – Whitten Middle School

10th Grade – Provine High School

11th Grade – Wingfield High School

12th Grade and Self-Contained – Lanier High School

Schedule: 

Departure from Forest Hill to relocation sites – 8:30 a.m.

Return to Forest Hill from relocation sites- 3:45 p.m.

Dismissal from Forest Hill to home – 4:05 p.m. 


Update: Sept. 6, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Tuesday, Jackson leaders said the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility remained at a steady pressure over the past 24 hours and is operating at 86 PSI. They also said the margin of storage that was built over the weekend decreased some of the past 24 hours.

Crews have maintained stable storage in the clear wells at the plan. However, they haven’t been able to push as much into the overhead tanks as preferred.

The plant is currently producing stable pressure, but if there is a challenge with plant operation on Tuesday, it will likely impact customers.

There is currently water in all storage tanks, but the Suncrest Tank is at a lower level than preferred. All of Jackson should have pressure, and most are experiencing normal pressure.

If you are experiencing discolored water or no pressure please report using this tool https://arcg.is/0LDmjb.

According to officials, progress was made in restoring the solids treatment process on Monday. Progress was also made validating and calibrating lab and monitoring equipment.

Crews are working on both the membrane and conventional systems with city staff and mutual aid teams from Mississippi and Georgia rural water associations. Leaders said the focus on Tuesday is on continuing to restore the sludge plant to full operation to remove sediment from conventional treatment process, as well as improving plant process controls.

Officials said investigative sampling began on Wednesday in order to get an indication of water quality. This is to determine when sampling can begin to clear the boil water notice, which the city has been under since July 29, 2022.

Two rounds of clear samples are needed in order to remove the boil water notice.

All 54 Jackson Public Schools (JPS) will soon be operating on their own water tanks instead of using the City of Jackson’s water.

World Central Kitchen, a Washington, D.C., based nonprofit, teamed up with Home Depot to donate 600 gallon tanks to all of the schools, starting with Van Winkle Elementary School.

The tank was set up on Monday and disinfected overnight. The tank is expected to be up and running by the end of Tuesday.

World Central Kitchen officials hope to have all of the tanks installed by Friday, September 9.

The Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition has made some updates to its water distribution sites. See below for the updated information:

  • South Jackson – Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Sykes Community Center, 520 Sykes Rd.
    • Oak Forest Community Center, 2827 Oak Forest Dr.
  • West Jackson – Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Westland Plaza Parking Lot
    • IAJE Community Center, 406 W Fortification St.
  • North Jackson
    • Grove Park Community Center, 4126, Parkway Ave.
    • Northtown Pharmacy, 6220 Old Canton Rd.
  • South Jackson – Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Oak Forest Community Center, 2827 Oak Forest Dr.
  • West Jackson – Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Westland Plaza Parking Lot
  • South Jackson – Thursday, Sept. 8 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Oak Forest Community Center, 2827 Oak Forest Dr.
  • West Jackson – Thursday, Sept. 8 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Westland Plaza Parking Lot, 915 Ellis Ave.
  • North Jackson – Thursday, Sept. 8 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Grove Park Community Center, 4126, Parkway Ave.
  • South Jackson – Friday, Sept. 9 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Oak Forest Community Center, 2827 Oak Forest Dr.
  • West Jackson – Friday, Sept. 9 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Westland Plaza Parking Lot, 915 Ellis Ave.
  • North Jackson – Friday, Sept. 9 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Northtown Pharmacy, 6220 Old Canton Rd.
  • Sykes Community Center – Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11:00 a.m.
  • IAJE Community Center – Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11:00 a.m.
  • MS Move across from Tougaloo College – Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3:00 p.m.

Update: Sept. 5, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) provided an update on the Jackson water crisis on Monday.

According to the governor, water pressure has returned to Jackson customers. He said all of the tanks or full or are refilling as of Monday.

Teams are still making repairs and doing maintenance on the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility. The teams will be active at the plant for some time to come, and challenges are expected at the facility.

During the news conference, Reeves said the basic work to maintain the facilities was not done at the plant before the state stepped in last week. The governor also said the state never received a ‘real’ plan from the city on how to fix the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility in order to fund it.

Jim Craig, Senior Deputy and Director of the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), reiterated that there could be interruptions in the system as repairs are made at the plant.

Craig said crews are working to winterize the membrane part of the plant ahead of the upcoming winter months.

Stephen McCraney, Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), announced they will transition three water distribution sites as water pressure improves at the plant.

The three school locations will close Monday, September 5, at 6:30 p.m., in anticipation of students returning to the classroom on Tuesday, September 6.

The only site that will not expand is the Davis Road Park location. That operation is at maximum capacity.

The following sites will close at 6:30 p.m. on Monday:

  • Thomas Cardozo Middle School – 3180 McDowell RD Ext Jackson
  • Northwest Jackson Middle School – 7020 Highway 49 Jackson
  • Hinds Community College Jackson – 3925 Sunset Drive Jackson

The remaining sites, which will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily until further notice, are:

  • State Fairgrounds – 1207 Mississippi Street Jackson, MS
  • Metro Center Mall – 3645 Highway 80 Jackson, MS
  • Smith Wills Stadium – 1200 Lakeland Dr. Jackson, MS
  • Davis Road Park – 2300 Davis Road (Byram)

Jackson leaders said the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility held steady overnight and into Monday morning. All tanks maintained storage levels overnight.

They said the total plant output is currently meeting the goal of 87 PSI. However, there are additional challenges as repairs and adjustments are made at the plant.

According to officials, all of Jackson should now have pressure and most are now experiencing normal pressure. If you are experiencing discolored water or no pressure, report it at https://arcg.is/0LDmjb.

On Sunday, leaders said the liquid soda ash feed was re-established and progress was made in improving and restoring the solids treatment process. The membrane plant capacity also increased due to completed repairs.

Work will continue in the plant on Monday on both the membrane and conventional systems with city staff and mutual aid teams from Mississippi and Georgia rural water associations. There is also staff assisting from the Louisiana State Department of Health.

Leaders said the focus on Monday is to continue to restore the sludge plant to full operation. The Anhydrous Ammonia tank leak has been stopped.

The city hopes to be able to begin the sampling process midweek. Jackson remains under a boil water notice.

MEMA’s Call Center remains open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily for neighbors affected by the water crisis. The call center number is 1-833-591-6362.


Update: Sept. 4, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson city officials said all of Jackson should now have pressure and most should be experiencing normal pressure.

They said the total output at the O.B. Curtis Water Plant has increased to 90 PSI, which exceeds the city’s goal of 87 PSI or better.

All tanks saw increased storage levels overnight. Multiple tanks are approaching full. None of the tanks are at low levels.

Work continues in the plant today on both the membrane and conventional systems with city staff and mutual aid teams from Georgia and Florida rural water associations. Work continues to increase water quantity and water quality. Membrane Plant Train #5 was restored to service yesterday, which allows for Membrane Train #3 to be cycled to cleaning today. Today, officials will focus on restoring the sludge plant to full operation. The work to repair the Anhydrous Ammonia tank leak continued through night. It is expected to be complete today.

City officials ask neighbors to report discolored water or no pressure using an online reporting tool. They said doing so will allow them to track any remaining issues and address them. 

They said they’re hopeful that they’ll be able to begin the sampling process midweek. This depends on sustained pressure. They will need two rounds of clear samples to be able to remove the boil water notice.

City officials said they will alert residents as soon as this happens. 


Update: Sept. 3, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson city officials said most of the city should now have water pressure. A few remaining pockets in South Jackson may still be experiencing low or no pressure. They said total plant output at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility has increased to 86 PSI, which is close to the city’s goal of 87 PSI.

(Courtesy: Mississippi State Department of Health)

Work will continue in the plant today on both the membrane and conventional systems. The work is focused on increasing the production ability of the O.B. Curtis facility. Increasing the production ability will create more stability in water supply.  

In order to repair the ammonia leak that was identified earlier this week, officials will be transferring product from the leaking tank. During the transfer of product and while emptying the leaking tank for repair, there may be a controlled burn-off of the gas that may cause a visible flare into the sky. Officials said there is no need for concern, and there is no threat to the public. The burn-off will take place intermittently throughout the day today. An environmental specialist is onsite performing this operation with numerous safety personnel present.

Teams from Georgia and Florida rural water associations are also on site. They’re assisting with repairing and restoring many of the automated systems that will support better management of the production of water and water quality. The city remains under a boil water notice. Officials said they will immediately alert neighbors when that changes.


Update: Sept. 2, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) held a news conference on Friday with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell to provide an update on Jackson’s water crisis.

According to Criswell, President Joe Biden’s emergency declaration will give FEMA resources to help those in need. She spoke with members of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba about the crisis.

She was able to tour the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility to see the challenges that workers face each day.

Jim Craig, Senior Deputy and Director at the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), said the plant is increasing pressure and overhead storage capacity in tanks. However, a chemical imbalance slowed down water production around 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

He said teams addressed the issue and brought everything back online. Due to the issue, the PSI went down to 77.2. The goal is to get to 87 PSI. Craig said there could be some fluctuation in water pressure Friday evening.

Last evening, Craig said there was a minor ammonia leak. A team is working to stop the leak at this time.

Teams from Florida and Louisiana arrived at the plant on Friday to help with the issues.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) executive director Steve McCraney said 2.8 million bottles of water have been distributed by members of the National Guard to Jacksonians in less than 24 hours at the supersites.

McCraney said 71 trucks with water arrived on Thursday, and he expects 36 trucks to arrive on Saturday.

Reeves reiterated that Jackson neighbors should boil their water for one minute before they consume it. The City of Jackson remains under a boil water notice, which was first issued on July 29, 2022.

Earlier in the day, Reeves released a statement about a news conference that was initially scheduled by the City of Jackson for Friday, September 2 at 1:00 p.m.

The news release initially stated that the news conference would be with Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, Gov. Reeves and other state officials.

On social media, Hunter Estes, the communications director for the governor, said the news release was false.

“We have not invited city politicians to these substantive state press conferences on our repairs, because they occur to provide honest information about the state’s work. We are investigating why they are releasing misinformation,” Estes stated.

The governor said, “Accurate information is important—especially in times of crisis. We will continue to provide substantive updates. No 1:00 event today, but we will provide an update on the state’s work alongside our experts later.”

The City of Jackson sent an update about the news conference saying there would be no 1:00 p.m. news conference because the mayor would be meeting with representatives from FEMA at Grove Park this afternoon. They apologized for any confusion.

Earlier in the day, Jackson leaders said the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant made significant gains again.

On Friday, the total plant output increased to 80 PSI. The ideal pressure level is 87 PSI. Leaders said this ensures there is enough water pressure to adequately supply the entire system.

Six of the tanks on the surface system have reached stable levels, and the other tanks continue to make progress. More areas throughout Jackson now have some pressure, and many are now experiencing normal pressure.

Leaders said areas further away from the plant and at higher elevations may still be experiencing low to no water pressure. They said pressure will continue to improve as the tank levels increase.

Work is underway in the plant on Friday on both the membrane and conventional systems. Leaders said this work is initially focused on increasing the production ability of the O.B. Curtis facility.

Multiple contractors will be on site Friday doing assessment work again.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mission assignment to perform pump assessments at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant on Thursday, Sept. 1.

USACE Vicksburg District engineers were on site that afternoon after receiving the mission assignment, assessing the pumping system, wastewater infrastructure, electrical system and safety concerns.

The Vicksburg District emergency operations center (EOC) remains activated at Level 2, due to flooding on the Pearl River in the Jackson, Mississippi, area. Level 2, or Emergency Watch, means personnel will monitor conditions from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), victims of the water crisis in Jackson now have until February 15, 2023, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.

Following the recent disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced that affected taxpayers in certain areas will receive tax relief. Individuals and households affected by the water crisis that reside or have a business in Hinds County qualify for tax relief.

The Feb. 15, 2023, deadline also applies to the quarterly estimated tax payment, normally due on Sept. 15, 2022 and Jan. 15, 2023, and the quarterly payroll and excise tax returns, normally due on Oct. 31, 2022 and Jan. 31, 2023.

In addition, businesses with an original or extended due date also have the additional time including, among others, calendar-year partnerships and S corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Sept. 15, 2022 and calendar-year corporations whose 2021 extensions run out on Oct. 17, 2022.

Penalties on payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after Aug. 30, 2022, and before Sept. 14, 2022, will be abated as long as the tax deposits are made by Sept. 14, 2022.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area should call the IRS disaster hotline at 866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

The Jackson Public School District (JPS) announced the “Graduation Classic” football game has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 3 and will take place at Pearl High School’s Ray Rodgers Stadium located at 500 Pirates Cove in Pearl. 

Callaway vs. Murrah begins at 11:00 a.m. and Lanier vs. Provine starts at 3:00 p.m. All tickets purchased previously for the game at the MS Veterans Memorial Stadium will be honored.

On Friday, Comcast NBCUniversal announced it will donate $50,000 to the American Red Cross in support of the organization’s relief efforts in Jackson, and Amazon’s Disaster Relief team is sending 326,000 bottles of drinkable water to the capital city.

The city and other organizations will host water giveaways on Friday. Several cities and organizations are also collecting water donations for Jackson.

If you are disabled or have access and functional needs and need water delivered, you can call the City of Jackson at 311, the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767, or the United Methodist Committee on Relief at 601-354-0515.


Update: Sept. 1, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.), along with Jackson and other state leaders, announced seven water supersites will open on Thursday throughout the capital city to help those impacted by the water crisis.

The sites will open at noon on Thursday, September 1 until 6:30 p.m. Each points-of-distribution site will be open for water pick-up daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. until further notice.

The seven sites are:

  • State Fairgrounds – 1207 Mississippi Street Jackson, MS
  • Metro Center Mall – 3645 Highway 80 Jackson, MS
  • Smith Wills Stadium – 1200 Lakeland Dr. Jackson, MS
  • Thomas Cardozo Middle School – 3180 McDowell RD Ext Jackson, MS
  • Northwest Jackson Middle School – 7020 Highway 49 Jackson, MS
  • Hinds Community College Jackson – 3925 Sunset Drive Jackson, MS
  • Davis Road Park – 2300 Davis Road Terry, MS 39170

Affected residents are asked to bring sealable containers to collect non-potable water for sanitation needs such as washing clothes, flushing toilets, personal hygiene, etc.

The Mississippi National Guard has deployed approximately 600 service members to work these distribution sites.

MEMA’s Call Center is also open for residents affected by the water crisis. The Call Center will be open for business starting September 1, 2022.

The call center number is 1-833-591-6362.

Due to the Mississippi State Fairgrounds serving as a state staging area, two events previously scheduled to take place at the Fairgrounds have been postponed.

  • PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure,” previously scheduled for September 3 & 4 at the Mississippi Coliseum, has been postponed until November 26 & 27. No action is required for current ticket holders. Tickets will automatically be transferred to the new dates. Guests who are unable to attend on the new date/time may contact their original point of purchase to discuss refund options.   
  • The State of Mississippi Open Horse Show, scheduled to take place September 7-11, has been postponed until a later date. 

All other planned events on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds will be taking place as scheduled including the Holiday Market of Jackson scheduled for September 16-18 in the Mississippi Trade Mart.   

The City Limits Café, located inside of the Mississippi Farmers Market, is open to the public. The Café serves breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every weekday; it is also open from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. 

Earlier in the day, leaders with the City of Jackson announced the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility made significant gains overnight and into Thursday morning. However, there are still some challenges that workers will have to navigate over the next few days.

Officials said more than half of the tanks on the surface system have begun filling back up. They said many areas throughout Jackson now have some water pressure, and areas closer to the plant are experiencing almost normal pressure.

According to the city, the total plant output has increased to 78 PSI. The goal on the surface system is 87 PSI.

Leaders said operator schedules have been adjusted to increase coordination between shifts. Crews have begun initial projects to increase the stability of the system, which includes a series of repairs and equipment adjustments at the site.

The city has also sourced additional chemicals to have some better ability on site to contend with the changing intake water chemistry.

Multiple contractors will be on site Thursday to do assessment work. With the support of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), the city is sourcing immediate staffing support including operators and maintenance staff.

Leaders said the city began the process of expediting some of the projects that were already being planned at the plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined the crews at the plant on Thursday.

The city and other organizations will host water giveaways on Thursday. Several cities and organizations are also collecting water donations for Jackson.

On Friday, 38,000 bottles of water and 4,000 Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MRE’s) will be given away from 10 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., on Friday, September 2, 2022, at the Vergie P. Middleton Community Center, 3971 North Flag Chapel Road in Presidential Hills.

United Way of the Capital Area and JPMorgan Chase will supply 88 pallets of bottled water that’s scheduled to arrive in Jackson on Friday, Sept. 2.

Eleven 86 Water Company, a Black-owned business based in Alabama, will coordinate delivery of the water to sites throughout the City of Jackson including:

  • Sykes Community Center at 520 Sykes Rd
  • Oak Forest Community Center at 2827 Oak Forest Dr.
  • Westland Plaza; IAJE Community Center (Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity Center) at 406 W. Fortification Street
  • Grove Park Community Center
  • MS Move across from Tougaloo College

Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization, will send 18 pallets of bottled water and a mobile water purification unit that produces 300 gallons of clean water per hour to Jackson. Mercy Chefs will distribute the supplies through church partners.

On Thursday, the City of Greenville dispatched an 18-wheeler load of water in partnership with Kroger Food, MMK Trucking, Simmons & Simmons Law Firm, W.L. Burle Engineers, Mitchell Distributing, the Greenville Local Organizing Committee, and the community.

Greenville’s first responders will be going to Jackson to distribute water at the Metrocenter Mall, along with other city officials.

If you are disabled or have access and functional needs and need water delivered, you can call the City of Jackson at 311, the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767, or the United Methodist Committee on Relief at 601-354-0515.


Update: Aug. 31, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) said work in being done on the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility and that neighbors could experience a fluctuation in water pressure.

They said this could mean no water at times.

An emergency rental pump was installed at the plant on Wednesday, according to Gov. Tate Reeves.

“Thank you to the operators, delivery teams, and experts on the ground who are making these repairs to restore water for the people of Jackson. More to be done, but the work is happening at an incredible pace!” the governor stated.

The governor said there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done. He said until the above ground tanks are back to an adequate level, interruptions to the water service can be expected.

More parts are expected to be delivered to the facility by September 6.

Emergency rental pump installed at O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility (Courtesy: Gov. Tate Reeves)

Mississippi Today reported the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessment team flagged numerous system problems in a July 2022 report, one month before the system failed.

The problems highlighted in the report include:

  • Poor administration, lack of staff
  • Finances are in shambles
  • Customer complaints
  • Lack of routine monitoring and maintenance
  • Water in storage tanks isn’t cycled
  • Frequent line breaks

During a news conference on Wednesday, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said there have been challenges at the plant due to the chemistry of the water.

On Wednesday morning, the plant was down to 40 PSI. Lumumba said many surface water connections may have lost water pressure on Wednesday due to the low PSI level. The goal at the plant is to get the level up to 87 PSI.

The mayor said Jackson Fewell Water Plant was running at normal capacity on Wednesday, and the well system tanks are stable.

Lumumba also said he received separate calls from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday. They said the city should expect full support from the federal government during the water crisis.

Reeves announced the super sites for water distribution in Jackson will be up and running on Thursday, August 31.

The Mississippi National Guard will help distribute the water at the locations, which will be released soon. Six-hundred guardsmen and 123 vehicles will help distribute water and hand sanitizer in the city.

The city and other organizations will host water giveaways on Wednesday. Several cities and organizations are also collecting water donations for Jackson.

If you are disabled or have access and functional needs and need water delivered, you can call the City of Jackson at 311, the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767, or the United Methodist Committee on Relief at 601-354-0515.

Jim Craig, Senior Deputy and Director with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), said neighbors should not ingest the water or give it to pets unless it has been boiled for one minute. He said neighbors can shower or bathe in the water.

On Wednesday, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to provide Jackson 15 pallets of bottled water starting Friday, Sept. 2. In addition, the board is offering to provide 2 million gallons of water per day that will come from Vicksburg’s Water Treatment Plant until the Jackson water system is restored.

Leaders with the Jackson Public School District (JPS) announced students will continue virtual learning for the remainder of the week (Thursday, Sept. 1 and Friday, Sept. 2) due to the Jackson water crisis.

Belhaven University students will transition to virtual learning, according to university leaders. Students will continue their studies online until normal class schedules resume on Tuesday, September 6.


Aug. 30, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The City of Jackson is experiencing a water crisis after an issue at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility that was caused by the Pearl River flooding this past weekend.

On Monday, Governor Tate Reeves declared a State of Emergency due to the issue at the water plant. According to the governor, the situation at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility was not significantly worse or better on Tuesday.

Leaders said the plant is not producing adequate water pressure, and some residents are experiencing outages.

Reeves said an emergency declaration was sent to the Biden Administration for a federal emergency to be declared due to Jackson’s water crisis. The governor said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) received the request.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden declared that an emergency exists in the State of Mississippi due to Jackson’s water crisis. The president ordered federal assistance to supplement the state’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions beginning on August 30 and continuing.

Biden’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

Allan Jarvis was named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 

The governor has activated the Mississippi National Guard to support state assistance to the City of Jackson and surrounding areas.

State Health Officer Dr. Dan Edney issued an emergency declaration due to the water crisis.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will take the lead to distribute drinking water and non-potable water in the city. MEMA Executive Director Stephen C. McCraney said 108 semi trucks with water will arrive in the city in the coming days.

According to McCraney, water distribution sites will be announced at a later date.

The state has created a mobile incident command center, which will help with repairs and improvements at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility. Reeves said the City of Jackson will be responsible for half of the cost of the emergency repairs that will be made at the facility. The center was up and operating on Tuesday.

Both primary pumps are broken and are currently being serviced. Officials have already gotten a replacement pump that is expected to be installed on Wednesday to help improve water pressure.

Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba welcomed the state’s help on Tuesday. During the news conference, he reiterated that the city is in a constant state of emergency due to its water system. The mayor said 10 individuals are being trained to be Class-A operators at the water treatment plant.

Lumumba also disputed state leaders’ assertions that raw water from the Barnett Reservoir was being fed into the city’s drinking water system. He said operators at the plant told him that was not the case, and the city is discussing implementing new raw water pumps.

On Tuesday, Jackson’s Public Works director was reassigned to a new role. Marlin King, Jr., told WJTV 12 News that as of Tuesday, August 30, he is the deputy director of the Public Works Department. He said the new role has to do more with administrative duties.

Organizations and the City of Jackson are working to provide water to residents. Water will be provided the following locations to Jackson neighbors:

  • South Jackson – Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m.
    • Sykes Community Center, 520 Sykes Rd.
    • Oak Forest Community Center, 2827 Oak Forest Dr.
  • West Jackson – Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m.
    • Westland Plaza Parking Lot
    • IAJE Community Center, 406 W. Fortification St. 
  • North Jackson – Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m.
    • Grove Park Community Center, 4126 Parkway Ave.
  • Grove Park – Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. & Sundays at 1:00 p.m.
  • Sykes Community Center – Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. & Sundays at 1:00 p.m.
  • MS Move across from Tougaloo College – Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Non-potable water will also be distributed to neighbors in need. Neighbors are asked to bring a container to store the water. The tankers will be located at the following locations:

  • Forrest Hill High School – 2607 Raymond Road
  • Metrocenter – 3645 Highway 80

Non-potable water is not of drinking quality, but may still be used for other purposes, such as flushing toilets, washing clothes and cleaning. 

Many schools in Jackson were either closed or moved to virtual learning on Tuesday due to the water crisis. Jackson Public School District leaders announced all schools would move to virtual learning again on Wednesday.

Jackson has been under a boil water notice since July 29, 2022.

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