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Boil Water Notice Lifted for Jackson, Mississippi After More Than 40 Days | VIDEO

Jackson Water Facility (Brad Vest-Getty Images)
Jackson Water Facility (Brad Vest-Getty Images)

*(CNN) — The boil water advisory in Jackson, Mississippi, has been lifted for all those who rely on the water system, Gov. Tate Reeves said at a Thursday news conference.

“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,” Reeves said.

It’s been more than 40 days since the Mississippi Department of Health put the state’s capital under a boil water notice in July, contributing to Jackson’s ongoing water crisis that was compounded by heavy rain in August. The weather and consistent issues at a failing water plant in the city ultimately led to residents being unable to use or drink water for weeks.

“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, ” he said.

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Reeves said it is possible that there will be further interruptions to the city’s water system.

The EPA is investigating Jackson’s water crisis

The boil-water advisory issued in late July meant tap water must be boiled before being used to drink, cook, make ice, wash dishes or brush teeth.

It was issued after cloudy water at the O.B. Curtis plant was blamed on high levels of the mineral manganese, “combined with the use of lime,” the city said.

The acute crisis began when heavy rain caused the Pearl River to flood, affecting treatment processes after pumps at the main water treatment facility were already damaged. Residents had to line up for hours to get cases of water for drinking, cooking and even flushing their toilets.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has said they are investigating the crisis.

“I can confirm that the EPA Office of Inspector General began sending personnel to Jackson to collect data and conduct interviews,” Jennifer Kaplan, a spokesperson for the office, told CNN Sunday. Similar investigations into the tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan, led to criminal charges and a slew of lawsuits.

Jackson’s issues with water go back years, with boil-water advisories becoming almost a fact of life in Mississippi’s capital. In early 2020, the system failed an EPA inspection, which found the drinking water had the potential to be host to harmful bacteria or parasites.

The city’s water problems are largely systemic and have included old and leaky pipes, malfunctions at treatment plants and insufficient money to fix the problems, according to a report by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting that the Clarion Ledger newspaper published in January.

Staffing at the plant also has been a problem. EPA staff found during a March visit that the city did not have adequate staffing for the system, leading to routine and preventative maintenance not being carried out.

The-CNN-Wire
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