The governor said he would declare a state of emergency in the state’s largest city, and state officials rushed to begin distributing water to its 180,000 residents.
“This means there is no reliable large-scale water supply. I mean,” Reeves said.
Officials said the water was not safe to drink or use while brushing teeth.
“Stay safe. Don’t drink water. Too often raw water from reservoirs is being pushed through pipes,” Reeves told Jackson residents. and protect your family.”
Residents are instructed to conserve water resources on hand and to boil the water they use for 3 minutes.
State officials said the state plans to call in the National Guard to help distribute potable and non-potable water, and crews are working to bring the water treatment plant back online.
“Replacing our largest city’s water infrastructure with human distribution is a very complex logistical task,” says Reeves. “The duration is unknown, but it should serve up to 180,000 people.”
In addition to preparing water distribution to residents, the state is installing a tank truck system to supply water to fire engines because Jackson has lost the ability to draw water from fire hydrants, officials said.
A system that has been plagued with problems for a long time
The problem stems from one of two water treatment plants at the OB Curtis plant, which is operated by the City of Jackson, the governor said. “OB Curtis isn’t running anywhere near capacity, and tomorrow we might find out it’s not running at all,” Reeves said.
OB Curtis is intended to supply the city with approximately 50 million gallons daily. Another plant, which normally supplies about 20 million gallons daily, has been approved to ramp up production amid the shortage, officials said.
OB Curtis’ main pump was severely damaged, and the facility began running with a small backup pump about a month ago.At the same time, notifications of prolonged boiling water began.
The governor was told Friday that “it is almost certain that Jackson will not be able to produce running water in the coming weeks or months unless something is significantly improved.”
Over the weekend, state officials began developing a water distribution plan and “preparing for a scenario where Jackson doesn’t run for an extended period of time.”
“This was all in prayer for them to have more time before their system crumbled,” says Reeves. “Unfortunately, that failure seems to have started today.”
“As one crisis may be averted, another one will raise its head,” Lumumba said at a press conference after speaking about flooding in the city.
The mayor said OB Curtis received additional water from the reservoir during the flood, which forced the facility to change how it treated the water, reducing the amount of water entering the system and lowering the level in the tank. said. This affects the water pressure in residents’ homes, he said.
“It’s no secret to any of us that we have water treatment facilities that are very fragile,” the mayor said, adding that the outage “could potentially last several days.”
In addition to infrastructure issues, the plant is also facing staffing issues, according to the mayor and governor.
“Too few brave frontline workers were doing their best to get the system together, but it was nearly impossible.