Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jackson Issues Water Precautions

The city of Jackson issued the following statement.

Wednesday, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba held a press briefing to publicly announce technical violations that have been found in the techniques used to treat water at the O.B Curtis Water Treatment Plant as it relates to the Optimized Control Plan for the City of Jackson.

Mayor Lumumba told reporters, “We are here to acknowledge that the city has failed one of the process standards for maintaining the proper pH within our system.”

While the city’s drinking water supply does not test positive for lead, Mayor Lumumba explained that the technical violation stems from a decision to retrofit the water treatment system which was originally designed to only process liquid lime, not soda ash.

“The City of Jackson under my father’s administration, learned that there were troubles or issues with the water treatment facility being able to maintain a proper pH through what we had as a liquid lime system at that time. Mayor Lumumba at that time took action to incorporate that in the budget to purchase a new system. Before he had the opportunity for that new system to be purchased, first and foremost, he asked if it was an emergency such that it required immediate action and he discovered that it was something that the system would hold out until the next budget incorporated a new system. At that time he placed it in the budget. The Yarber administration later took that item out of the budget. If you may recall, at that time there were a few lead tests that came up in a few homes somewhere around 2014, 2015 and there were efforts made at that time to retrofit the liquid lime system into a system which uses soda ash. What we have recently discovered is that the retrofitted system is not an adequate solution to the process. Because we are dealing with a machine that was not intended for the use of soda ash, there has been trouble in terms of soda ash clumping as it leads into the distribution system. And so that has led to a process violation.”

In December 2017, the Mississippi State Department of Health issued an Optimized Corrosion Control Plan for the City of Jackson drinking water system which requires the city to maintain a minimum pH of 9.0 for drinking water as it enters the water distribution system from both of its water treatment plants. 

The Plan further requires that the pH in the water distribution system remain at 8.6 and above.

The purpose of the plan and the minimum pH requirements is to help prevent lead and copper from dissolving into the drinking water.

According to Director of Public Works, Robert Miller, the City of Jackson was notified in July 2018 that
the city failed to consistently maintain the minimum pH of 9.0 for drinking water from the City’s O. B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant and  which is a violation of the City’s Optimized Corrosion Control Plan during the months of January 2018 to June 2018. The City also failed to consistently maintain a pH of at least 8.6 in the monthly water distribution system monthly samples. 

To clarify, Director Miller told reporters, “When I say that we failed to meet it consistently, we met the target regularly but there were occasions of hours where there were excursions where the pH was either below or above that level.”

A notice of violation has since been mailed to customers in the City of Jackson system.

Director Miller went on to tell reporters that the specific challenge faced by the city is that the soda ash being used to control the pH has been particularly difficult to dose in the current system, citing the difficulty with soda ash reacting to high levels of humidity in the air to form rock-like clumps that are very difficult to process in the system.

“We anticipate that we may need to replace the equipment in the near future.  Meanwhile, we have implemented temporary chemical feed equipment that is having better, but not complete success.  This temporary equipment is being optimized while implementation of a new feed system is being designed for construction and installation.”, said Director Miller

The City of Jackson has emphasized that this is not an emergency situation, but the following precautions are advised for Jackson water consumers to consider:

• Run your tap on cold for one to two minutes before using it for drinking or cooling
• Households should never use hot water for drinking or cooking.
• Residents should clean out their faucet aerators by unscrewing the aerator at the tip of the faucet and removing any particles or sediment that have collected in the filter screen.
• Any child five years of age or younger and any pregnant woman should use filtered water or bottled water for drinking and cooking.
• Baby formula should be “ready to feed” or prepared using only filtered water or bottle water.
• Parents with children five years or younger should contact their child’s pediatrician or primary care provider to make sure that adequate lead screening and blood testing have been performed.

For more information, please contact the City of Jackson Water Laboratory at 601.960.2723


Anonymous said...

Is Hood going after this?

Anonymous said...

Two big take-aways and some questions:

1. This issue is bad enough that pregnant women and kids under 5 have been told to avoid drinking and cooking with tap water

2. This issue has gone on since January.

Q. What does this mean for kids and pregnant women who have been drinking and cooking with city water for the last 6 months? Who failed to notify the City of Jackson in January? Has the failure to notify the public endangered kids, unborn babies and newborns?

Anonymous said...

That list of precautions sure looks like it is an emergency.

Chucky says "Its not an emergency, just don't drink the water".

Anonymous said...

A third world City. No one in their right mind would live there.

Anonymous said...

"Don't drink the water". Man, when did we become Tijuana?

lovermangenuis said...

Run your tap on cold for one to two minutes before using it for drinking or cooling

Cooling? Is that like chillin'?

"Yo, Lil G! What you be doin' with that Jackson tap water?"

"Jus coolin'!"

Anonymous said...

Plenty of land North of Madison for new State office buildings.....

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....makes me think twice about eating in Jackson if young children & pregnant women shouldn't have food cooked with the water in Jackson. What about the elderly? Doesn't sound good at all.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Virgi, why don't you push the City Government (of which you are a part) to make our water safe to drink instead of the USACE (of which you are not a part) to hurry One Lake Project? With the utmost of due respect, but a municipality that lacks the technical knowledge and proficiency to safely, reliably deliver drinking water probably shouldn't be making more complex decisions about river flows and flood control. And, please try filling some potholes with the same passion and energy that you're applying to trying to fill your campaign donors' pockets.

Anonymous said...

Here come the insecure Jackson commenters... 1, 2, 3...

Anonymous said...

This HAS to be a poorly disguised play for a federal bailout. HAS TO BE. And a failure on the part of the delegation to offer up the ample federal teat will be deemed racist.

Anonymous said...

The Democrats of Jackson got Cochran re-elected and he did nothing for them in return.

Anonymous said...

Most, if not all, restaurants have got water filtration systems already. At least the better ones.

Change the Flag and Fill the Potholes said...

If you read the statement carefully this has actually been an ongoing problem since 2014/2015 - not just since January 2018. It does make me feel a little better about not receiving or paying a water bill for the last 14 months...

Anonymous said...

Reading the Mayor's self-serving press release, you learn quickly that the Lumumbas never mess up; all the mistakes are made by those before and after daddy. Baby Chocke only inherited the mess that daddy 'tried to fix' while he was Mayor (don't look back at the time he was on the Council and didn't do crap) but that Tony screwed up while he was screwing around.

Anonymous said...

flint still has lead in the water....

Anonymous said...

Remember when the public works engineer employee got fired for trying to warn citizens? Whatever happened to lawsuit against city by employee?

Anonymous said...

So, they knew about it last month and just now admitting to it.... someone was about to start talking....

I did not see Antard drink a glass of water for a tap during the press conference.... coward...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of water bills, did the water billing fiasco ever get corrected. I haven't heard too much about it lately. There would be a source of revenue to fix crap like this.

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, Jackson was officially known as "The Bold New City"
Then it became "The City with Soul"
And now, "Looks like Detroit, Tastes like Flint".

Anonymous said...

BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This stuff gets better everyday. If you voted for them deal with it. Otherwise get out if you haven’t already. I did.

Anonymous said...

I would encourage all JJ readers to watch the video on the Clarion Ledger website of Anna Wolfe interviewing the Director of Public Works and the City’s spokesperson. The defensive stance taken by these two is sad. Its eye opening to see who the new Mayor surrounds himself with; but, not surprising. Amateur hour!

Anonymous said...

I have avoided drinking or cooking with tap water for over 30 years nor unfiltered water since the 70's.

I don't drink it anywhere I go without asking if the building has a separate water filter system. I do research on where the water sources for bottled water are located.

The reason is I knew I was living where there were homes and buildings old enough to have had lead pipes that were aging. It is a certainly that some amount of lead will get through processing. It's just an issue of how much.

I appreciate the administration has alerted us ( and they did it early when they told us the problem was most likely in areas where lead pipes existed). You know in every water bill what the water content is. There was never going to be a quick and easy fix.

By the way, you all should look up ALL the long term effects. Not only children and pregnant women are affected. They just are the most vulnerable.

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