Wednesday, April 7, 2021

EPA Nailed Jackson Water System Neglect a Year Ago

The EPA inspected Jackson's water treatment plants a little over a year ago and found them to be quite wanting.  Chronically malfunctioning equipment, neglected detectors, and vacant key positions were just a few of the problems EPA discovered at the O.B. Curtis and Fewell water treatment plants.  Even the crucial UV devices that disinfect the water were offline for weeks at a time.  EPA saw enough and issued an Emergency Administrative Order against Jackson on March 27, 2020.

The Health Department  has tried to get Jackson to address its water safety problems since 2016 but to no avail.  The Department had enough and reported Jackson to EPA. The order states: 

Based on the findings above, and despite actions taken by MSDH, the local authorities have  not undertaken all actions necessary to protect the public health and conditions exist at the System that may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons served by the System.

The EPA inspected the two water plants from February 3 to February 7, 2020 and found Jackson's water system to be in a state of neglect and incompetence.  Some key findings are:

* Coagulant is supposed to be added to water when it first enters the plant from the pearl.  The chemical separates solids and sludge from the water.  Removing such substances obviously reduces the turbidity (cloudiness) of the water.  Streaming current detectors are used to adjust the proper coagulant dosing in the water.  The EPA said the detectors were not "properly calibrated."  Thus the water was not properly treated by coagulant as it was impossible to determine the accurate dosing. (a)

To make matters worse, the turbidity monitoring equipment did not work properly for at least three years thanks to neglect.  (g)

* The instrument technician position became vacant in 2017.   The position was never filled.  The lack of a technician meant the "continuous monitoring equipment" at O.B. Curtis was "not repaired or calibrated" for over three years.  Translation? PH meters, flow measurement devices, and other crucial equipment was not maintained.  The EPA said the continuous pH meters were off by up to 2 units in some cases.   The plant operators were somewhat operating in the dark as they simply could not know the quality of the water they were treating. 

* Jackson did not conduct "jar tests" at either treatment plant even though the streaming current detectors did not work properly.  The lack of jar tests means Jackson didn't use a back-up test in case the detectors did not work. 

*  Get ready to read about some incompetence. Jackson uses membranes and sand to filter water. Staff cleaned the membranes without using the necessary automatic monitoring equipment for pH and chlorine levels.  Too much chlorine  or improper pH levels can damage the membrane.  Unfortunately, Jackson hasn't had the monitors for several years.  (Read "e" on page 5.)  It may not matter because..... Jackson can't "currently perform membrane integrity testing" at O.B. Curtis.  In other words, the city can't really tell if the filters work. 

* Jackson didn't "perform filter maintenance" at either water plant.  

* UV devices disinfect the water.  They are supposed to operate continuously.   All UV reactors were offline for at least two weeks in January 2020 at Fewell.  The record was somewhat batter at O.B. Curtis as the reactors were only offline two to ten days. (KF: Only.)

* Neglect and broken equipment meant Jackson's water was at a higher risk for giardia, cryptosporidium, and E. Coli

 

Jackson must notify the EPA and Health Department of its intent to comply.  Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba notified the EPA it would comply in an April 1 letter (posted below).   The order was immediately effective when it was issued .

The city is supposed to provide the status of all monitoring equipment at the water plants to the Health Department within a week of the order as well as other reports.  Jackson must notify the EPA within 24 hours after it discovers a violation of the order.  Jackson must submit weekly reports as well as monthly operating reports to the agency.  

EPA can fine Jackson up to $24,386 per day if it does not comply with the order. 


58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jackson water is only good for flushing toilets. I haven’t eaten at a restaurant in Jackson in years because of this.

Anonymous said...

What a shithole of a city. And the left is bitching that Tate hasn’t taken over the gooberment there to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Wait, why is there no mention of white flight? That's what caused the whole problem, right?

Anonymous said...

More important Jackson reporting nobody other than the JJ is covering.

Jackson must submit weekly reports as well as monthly operating reports to the agency.

FOIA.

Anonymous said...

This indicates that even with a federal bailout of the city's water system, Jackson doesn't have the personnel or expertise to operate it properly. So a new water treatment plant & other improvements likely would go to waste, just like the current system.

Anonymous said...

Lumumba's outright lies, falsehoods and fabrications to the national press ARE NOT an accident.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, is anything at all working in Jackson?

Anonymous said...

8:35 yes racism is working. Stupid white people. It's all their fault. From the creation of the city to present, all of Jackson's woes are because of racist white people. Just listen to the re-elected jive turkey. He knows everything. Why dont they start a taskforce with the collective for a more cooperative approach to fixing the water system. I know I am missing some of his overused buzzwords.

fed up in Jackson said...

so even the city council knew this information, and has said NOTHING? The Mayor has blamed anyone and everyone, and this shows (as we all knew) the issues lay squarely on the city

Kingfish said...

Two city council members told me they didn't know.

Anonymous said...

The truth about the OBC breakdowns that were already happening in late December/early January should be in the weekly and monthly reports.

I Smell Dung Water said...

Yada Yada...The question, now, five years later is, 'What the hell can be done about it and who the hell has the authority to take action against the city?'

Endangering the public health, cited by a federal agency, is not serious enough for action?

Anonymous said...

The conditions at these treatment centers are intentionally done.

What baby chok and the city wants is for the state, or the feds to do the work at their water and sewer systems. Then, they can blame all of the problems on someone else. A typical leftist trick. Ruin something, then blame it on someone else and make it so bad higher-level politicians can't take the heat, thus tons of money, or someone else will fix it.

But there's a problem: No one wants to step in and do it. So, these problems will persist until a disease breaks out, and then here comes the feds, or the state. Maybe.

Anonymous said...

The truth about the OBC breakdowns that were already happening in late December/early January should be in the weekly and monthly reports.

Smell the scandal? There were system-wide failures immediately BEFORE the ice storms and Chowkey used the storms to obscure those facts (and this report) from the public in order to avoid administrative responsibility.

The exact factors cited this report were the same failures cited for the ice storm system crash.

Where the hell is Shad White now? We need an audit and investigation.

Anonymous said...

Bobby Boucher sobbed upon hearing this report.

Anonymous said...

Intentional?

There's money? Free equipment?

The mains haven't needed repair nor the streets?

Government money has no strings attached to how it is spent?

Nobody working at the plant wants clean water?



Anonymous said...

915 - Five (5) years later?

This is bad enough on its face, you do not have to make up shit to make it sound worse.

2020 was a year ago, not five.

Anonymous said...

April 7, 2021 at 9:33 AM
"Where the hell is Shad White now? We need an audit and investigation."
EXACTLY!!!! This whole thing stinks like a whorehouse at low tide. If Shad has the nuts he thinks he does, then quit going after the low hanging fruit that is small time embezzlement and go after some real city crooks.

Anonymous said...

This report and Emergency Administrative Order exposes why Lumumba has been so trigger ready to offer the press predictions that there will be future failures. He's fed LaddCo and the Barksdale Today staffers a complete line of bullshit knowing they would trip over each other to see who could out-parrot the other with narratives of evil whites and racial hate.

Anonymous said...

@9:54am - This is definitely not some high quality H2O. Sad Bobby :(

Anonymous said...

The State Auditor has no role in this, so all you schyophantical lovers of the boy wonder need to take a seat and wait for a scandal that is within his wheelhouse. While you are waiting, take a minute or two and read up on the duties and authority of the State Auditor.

This is an absolute failure on the part of Chock and his administration and is being dealt with by the agency who has the responsibility and authority. Thats where this report comes from.

Clock is ticking down until the time that the State will take over the system - between this mess and the equivalent violations on the sewer side of the equation (what goes in must come out).

Anonymous said...

Lumumba: "I acknowledge the gravity of this situation and the responsibility to ensure a safe supply of drinking water to the public."

But, but, but ...

Lumumba: "The City looks forward to working with the EPA and the Mississippi State Department of Health to achieve compliance with this Emergency Administrative Order as quickly as practicable."

Merriam-Webster
Definition of practicable
1: capable of being put into practice or of being done or accomplished

The EPA got played as all Chowkey did was flap his already moving gums again.

fed up in Jackson said...

"Two city council members told me they didn't know."

and that is a really big problem. This is from March of 2020. A year ago. The city has no idea what it is doing. The press is not asking the questions, instead celebrating the head idiot in charge got interviewed by somebody, and our second layer of protection from the idiots in charge (council members) are asleep at the wheel. Words fail......

Anonymous said...

April 7, 2021 at 10:25 AM

Last sentence

+100,000

They're rabid. They drool. He OWNS them.

Kingfish said...

Well, most of the press doesn't ask questions. Their editors and news directors don't really push them like they used to. CL doesn't even have a real editor anymore.

Anonymous said...

Until a regulatory body forces date certain compliance through court orders the citizens of Jackson are f'd.

Anonymous said...

"most of the press doesn't ask questions"

But they quaff down the Chuckter's kool-aid by the bucket.

Anonymous said...

1104 - obviously you have never had to deal with the EPA. They weren't played by Mayor Yak-a-Lot. This is not their first rodeo, and they are in for the long haul, not just a quick lap around the track.

Lumumba tried to play it off with his "practical" wording, but that doesn't sidestep the requirements that go with the city's operating permit, the Safe Drinking Water Act, or the EPA enforcement order.

The wheels of the feds turn slowly, but they do turn. And they are not slowed down or stopped by such language as you seem to think played them.

Anonymous said...

10:02. State Health Department had been trying to address problems since 2016 to no avail. Closer to five years with the problem. Order only out since March 2020.

PittPanther said...

The water system didn't just go bad under Lumumba, but he's responsible now.

Wasn't it the responsibility of the public works guy, the white guy who left a year ago, to be on top of this stuff? And his replacement, Dr whatever his name is? What did they do every time the epa came to town? What did they tell the mayor?

As a manager, I'd be furious if my direct reports aren't telling me this stuff, and I have to find out in an epa report.

Y'all really think the bail bonds lady is gonna have a better staff?

Anonymous said...

State Health Dept looks powerless. Any direct or indirect warnings to refer Jackson to the EPA produced zilch. Which begs the question, knowing Jackson's lethargy, disinterest and/or unwillingness to act why did the State Health Dept wait so damn long to refer?

Anonymous said...

I talked to the FBI today about their Top 10 Bitches in America list. You almost made it, Jamie.

Also, you should come to a press conference and ask these questions you say the press won't ask. You don't though. I guess you are too much of a bitch to do that as well. At least Kim Wade has an excuse, he can't afford transportation. It's sad.

Kingfish said...

Wow. $41,000 a year sure has made you brave, Melvin.

Anonymous said...

Revenge of the Pork.

Anonymous said...

Jackson: We need somebody to repair the UV system and the clarifiers.

Contractor: I can do it. I'm the best, most qualified, most experienced, and cheapest in Mississippi. My qualifications are impeccable and I can prove it.

Jackson: We aren't worried about your qualifications, experience, or price. How many minorities do you employ?

Contractor: I don't understand your question. I hire the best people I can find. My employees are second to none. That's why I'm the best. My employees are hired based upon ability to do the job, not skin color.

Jackson: I need to know how many minorities you have working for you.

Contractor: Well I have some females, a secretary that is paralyzed from the waist down, a transgender guy from Nicaragua, and

Jackson: We don't care about those people. Specifically how many blacks do you have employed.

Contractor: I'm not sure. I never really looked at skin color among my employee base.

Jackson: Well if you don't have at least 80% black employees, then you won't get our work.

Contractor: Do you want the clarifiers and UV system fixed correctly or not?

Jackson: I would rather our customers drink contaminated water than give the job to a white contractor.

Contractor: Okay, I will just continue to do work for all of the successful water utilities in the southeast US

Jackson to the media: Our problems are caused by the white folks, and the white folks won't help us.

Media: This story will be great. It fits our agenda. The headline will be "White Folks Abandon Jackson and Purposely Destroy the Water System"

Mayor Chowke's response said...

Mayor Baby Chowke's response: "The EPA inspectors are white and they attended a gun show while in Jackson."

Anonymous said...

JJ: The.Definition.of.Impact.Journalism.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish continues to lead metro area journalism exposing the Lumumba administration's incompetence operating Jackson's water system.

#jxnwater

#LaddCoTalkISCheap

Anonymous said...

12:12 spot on for the writers of the bird cage liners that comes out of Jackson.

Also now that blue voting DIM-O-KRATS can't cry racism since they've controlled the city since the decline began in '97, all they can do is cry blame game to liberal media who don't care if it's true or not. So long as they can go on the air and say black folks are being mistreated.

Who cares if the Fondren progressive voters have drinkable water to mix their Shirly Temples with as they fail to notice the city falling down around their ankles and the bodies they have to step over & drive around to get to the watering hole.

Back in the day there would be a black sign with a skull & bones on it for all to see as they approached for water. Maybe the signs should now be at all the entrances to Jackson.

Anonymous said...

11:44 - that is the reason that "white guy" left. He did report this to the Mayor, and tried to address it, but the city didn't want to do what was required to fix it. So, he left.

I imagine that Dr. what's his name faces the same problems, although he probably doesn't stand up to the Mayor in the same manner as that "white guy". (He was past retirement eligibility, both agewise and financially. So, he had the luxury of telling the city to lump it.)

They didn't have to tell the Mayor about this problem - he had the report and did the response. Unlike the City Council members who can claim "see no evil", the Mayor doesn't have that luxury.

Anonymous said...

11:49, you act as if this reported EPA action is the one and only thing that the DOH or EPA has done regarding Jackson's management (or lack thereof) of the water system. Or for that matter, the sewer system with DEQ and EPA.

Like it or not, the fed regs require a process, one that includes a series of actions, with responses, appeals, etc before they can take the drastic actions that they have the authority to do, including the takeover and operation of a system.

What you see here is another step, a big one, in that process. And with the City having done little in response; the recent "crisis" (which has shown what can and will happen when they fail to maintain all the parts and pieces of the treatment operation); the failure to follow the required actions of the order - the hammer is getting set to fall.

Its not that DOH has done nothing. They have followed the extended process hoping that the city would address the problems - which the city hasn't done. So the hammer is being cocked and is ready to fall, driving a final nail in the city's coffin.

Anonymous said...

Health Dept. been on Jackson's case since 2016?

Harvey Johnson, Jr. 2009–2013
Chokwe Lumumba 2013–2014 (died in office)
Charles Tillman 2014-2014
Tony Yarber 2014-2017
Chokwe Antar Lumumba 2017-present

That white flight sure has done a number on the Jackson infrastructure.

Anonymous said...

Dear Senator Horhn:

You know it but won't say it. Chowkey only yammers in broad strokes, he don't do no stinkin' plans.

“What they need to do is put in place a plan of action – what they will spend the money on and when,” Horhn said. “They won’t throw a boatload of money at the city without a plan in place.”

Jackson is Detroit v2.0 said...

Where did the million$ from the Siemens settlement land?

Anonymous said...

"Wow. $41,000 a year sure has made you brave, Melvin"

Says the guy that won't come to a public press conference to actually ask these "hard-hitting questions" that he writes on his blog. You are a bitch and you are not swole.

Anonymous said...

The EPA is clearly racist

Anonymous said...

Isn’t the head of EPA in Mississippi’s district the former mayor of Greenville, MS? If that’s still the case, I believe her and the mayor are in line with their politics.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Donner and JFP will do a deep-dive into this drinking water disaster? Probably not since it can’t be blamed on Kane Ditto or Dale Danks. This is squarely Lumamba’s responsibility and ain’t no blaming it on historical problems.

Anonymous said...

Having been identified in the letter as primarily responsible, Dr. Williams and Mr. Miller will be the scapegoats.

Anonymous said...

I’ve dealt with Robert Miller. Good guy, knowledgeable, good leader. But the Jackson employees can’t be led. His weakness was he was too much of a bureaucrat. I prefer a white color leader with a blue collar work ethic.

Charles Williams is educated and somewhat intelligent. He’s the best thing they have going for them in Jackson. But he doesn’t have a lot of work ethic though. He won’t put in the hours and hustle like he should. But it’s government. He’s worth keeping. With the correct leader over him, Williams could be an asset.

Anonymous said...

The State will not take over the city. An example is the Jackson Public School District failure several years ago. Everyone was expecting the MIss. Dept. of Education to take over but they wanted no part of it because there is no fixing it. Same with the rest of Jacktown, there is NO fixing it, so why take on the problem. Plus, can you imagine the cry’s of racism!
Why didn’t Bennie stuff two billion in the latest COVID-19 relief bill? He was elected the representative of the poorest district in the U. S. decades ago and will retire having accomplished nothing and his district will still be the poorest.
Lots of blame to go around but the current political leadership is not the answer.

Anonymous said...

I’m @7:21. Should be white collar leader. Not white color leader. Edit.

Anonymous said...

I think the State move will have to be creating a Metro entity in return for “helping” Jackson out. That is about the only path that will save Jackson from itself

Anonymous said...

The mayor has allowed the poisoning of the city by covering up the issue and the population of Jackson will still vote to re-elect no questions asked? Who has been hiding this report for 13 months from the city council? And I ask again, since the "news services" in Jackson won't where is the $60k from Siemens? I suppose the is a benefit to allowing the dumbing down of the population.

Old bartender says... said...

4/7/21 @ 1:27

Except for the ice, there's no water in a Shirley Temple. Sorry.

Kingfish said...

Just brainstorming right now so bear with me.

Remember that list of O.B. Curtis WTP projects that cost $47 million? The Mayor said it was presented to EPA in a December meeting. Hmmm...... no one ever asked why the city was meeting with EPA about the plant.

I think now we know.

I am willing to bet Jackson was still out of compliance with the EPA in December. EPA wanted to know why Jackson was taking so long so Jackson presented a list of projects and costs for getting the plants up to par.

Anonymous said...

1:56 - If what you say is true (which I doubt) and the 'hammer is fixing to fall' (which we ALL doubt), that would be exactly what Chock wants to happen....somebody else coming in and paying to fix the problem.

AKA - Please, Bro, don't throw me in that briar patch! Wink Wink.

The guy is about to be re-elected. What nail in what coffin?

Anonymous said...

Think you are on to something KF but my guess is the list was only coughed up to stall the EPA. This administration doesn't produce plans and politicos from Bennie Thompson to John Horhn have publicly warned that little, if any, money would be forthcoming without actual vetted plans.

It is obvious now that all the hue and cry from the ice storms, though real people were impacted, was misdirection away from the real problems of negligence and incompetence.

No way around it, this is a scandal and a concerted cover-up on the part of Lumumba.

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