Monday, April 26, 2021

Jackson Did not Notify Public of EPA Order

 The city of Jackson did not notify the public about an EPA Emergency Administrative Order that was issued a year ago.  

The EPA issued the Emergency Administrative Order in March 2020 after it inspected Jackson's water treatment plants and found monitors, UV disinfectors, dosers, valves, and other necessary equipment were missing, broken, or improperly used at the two water treatment plants. Key monitor technician positions were vacant for years. T Crucial equipment that should be calibrated monthly was not calibrated for over three years.  The water treatment plants were in a complete state of disrepair and neglect. 

The Lumumba Administration did not publish a notice of the EPA order in the Mississippi Link.  JJ asked for a public notice of the order through a public records request.  The city provided over 300 pages of Boil Water Notices and several warnings. 

Jackson stated in an April 13, 2020 warning: 

Normal turbidity levels at our plant are 0.3 turbidity units.  A water sample taken February 17, 2020 showed levels of 1.55 turbidity units.  This was above the standard of 0.3 turbidity units.  Presently, the City of Jackson Water Treatment Plants are not in violation of this standard but are working to consistently maintain normal turbidity levels.

We routinely sample water at consumers' taps for lead and copper. In 2015, the tests showed lead levels in the water above the action level. A routine inspection conducted  in  November  2016  by  MS  State  Department  of  Health  found inadequate application of treatment chemicals due to a failing corrosion control system at the 0.  B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant. As required by Environmental Protection  Agency, we were required to take action to correct this deficiency. After testing and analyses of our treatment plants and distribution system, we began installation of optimized corrosion control treatment in October 2017. This treatment prevents lead and copper in the pipes and plumbing components from dissolving into the water. During the monitoring periods of 2018, 2019, and 2020, we failed to consistently meet treatment technique requirements for our corrosion control  system  which  is  a  violation  of  the  Lead  and  Copper  Rule  and  a requirement  of  the  City's  Optimized  Corrosion  Control  Plan.  Additionally, corrosion control equipment installation should have been completed at both 0.B. Curtis and J. H. Fewell Water Treatment Plants by December 28, 2019, but installation is incomplete at J. H. Fewell due to a reassessment of the Optimized Corrosion Control Treatment plan....

This is not an emergency.  If it had been, you would have been notified within 24 hours. *Turbidity has no health effects.   However,  turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth.  Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms.  These organisms include bacteria, viruses,  and parasites  which can cause symptoms  such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea,  and  associated  headaches.*  .   However,  we do not  know of any contamination, and none of our testing has shown disease-causing organisms in the drinking water:

The average citizen is supposed to know what 1.55 means on a turbidity scale.  Jackson admits to some failure but leaves it to the citizens to figure out what it means: 

 During the monitoring periods of 2018, 2019, and 2020, we failed to consistently meet treatment technique requirements for our corrosion control  system  which  is  a  violation  of  the  Lead  and  Copper  Rule  and  a requirement  of  the  City's  Optimized  Corrosion  Control  Plan. 

Well, the Mayor told the City Council this is over their heads and he is right, it is probably over the heads of most citizens, especially when it is intended to be that way.  People can't question what they don't understand. 

Jackson issued another notice on April 17, 2020: 

 Our water system violated a drinking water standard and a drinking water requirement. Although this  is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

Cryptosporidium is a disease-causing microorganism that has been found in our raw water source.  The City of Jackson was required to maintain a specified level of additional treatment to address Cryptosporidium.  During March 8-14, 2020, our drinking water system fell below this level.
They city said it was not an emergency.  Of course it wasn't as the notice was issued a month later.  The city issued the same notice on July 5.   A July 4 notice merely said the city "violated a drinking water standard and a drinking water requirement" but "this is not an emergency."  The notice said it took corrective measures to "stabilize" the pH.   The city issued the same notice on September 24. The city issued in November the same notice that was issued in April. Rinse, repeat.

The city issued another notice on January 24, 2021: 

Our water system violated a drinking water standard and a drinking water requirement. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

 and again on February 23, 2021 during an adverse weather event:

 We routinely monitor your water for turbidity (cloudiness). This tells us whether we are effectively filtering the water supply. A water sample taken today, February 23, 2021 showed turbidity levels greater than 1.0 turbidity units. This is above the standard of 0.30 turbidity units. Because of these high levels of turbidity, there is an increased chance that the water may contain disease-causing organisms.


A March 31, 2021 notice lectured in the same technical gobbledygook: 

  Our water system violated drinking water standards and drinking water requirements. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

(SWTR)   Water  samples   for  February   2021  showed  that  >  25%  of  turbidity measurements  were over 0.30 turbidity units. The standard is that no more than five percent (5%) of samples may exceed 0.30 turbidity units per month. Normal turbidity levels at our plant are below 0.30 turbidity units. Additionally, multiple water samples taken between 2/18-23/2021 showed levels of >1.0 turbidity units. This was above the standard of0.30 units. Because of these high levels of turbidity, there was an increased chance that the water may have contained disease-causing
organisms. During these elevated turbidity events, the system was under a Precautionary Boil Water Notice.

(DBPR) Similarly, we routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Testing results from 4th Quarter  2020 and 1st Quarter  2021 show that our system exceeded the standard,  or maximum contaminant level (MCL), for Total Haloacelic Acids (HAA5). The standard for HAA5 is 60 µg/L. It is determined by averaging all the samples collected at each sampling location for the past 12 months. The level of HAA5 averaged at one of our system's locations for 4th Quarter 2020 was 66 µg/L and for 1st Quarter 2021 was 65 µg/L.

These are the notices the Mayor said informed the public about the EPA order.  The order states: 

33.   Effective immediately  upon the Effective Date of this Order, Respondent shall carry out the public notice requirements as required by 40 C.F.R. Part 141, Subpart Q  for all future violations of NPDWRs. Additionally, Respondent must treat any exceedances of maximum allowable  turbidity levels and breaks in water lines or other low pressure or loss of pressure events likely to cause contamination  in the  System's distribution system as requiring  Tier 1 public notification as required by 40 C.F.R. § 141.202 until notified by the EPA that this is no longer necessary.

No notices about the EPA order appear on the city website. 

Kingfish note:  It could be argued the EPA order required the city to give notice of the order.  Code. 

The Lumumba Administration hid the existence of the EPA Order until this website reported its existence two weeks ago.  The Mayor claimed he notified the public through these various notices. However, it is easily apparent when comparing the notices to the EPA order that the Mayor is again not telling the truth but instead tries to hide behind a fog of bureaucratese and righteous anger when questioned.   There is absolutely nothing in these notices that tells the public the poor condition of Jackson's water treatment plants.  

While the Mayor hid the EPA order, he appeared in media outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, and Democracy Now to blame Jackson's water problems on the weather and white flight. Never mind there was a year-old EPA report showing the poor treatment of the water treatment plants by his administration.  

Simply put, Jackson's water treatment plants imploded in February.  What is becoming clear is the Mayor and his minions went to great lengths to hide the plants' poor condition reported by the EPA a year earlier and that, my friends, is the bottom line.



John said...

Well...THAT'S radical.

Anonymous said...

turbids in my water. not good

Anonymous said...

As a white person, I take full responsibility for the mayor not telling his constituents about the EPA Order. He's going to blame whitey anyway, so I'm stepping up to the plate, even though I haven't lived in Jackson since 1969.

Anonymous said...

I see what they did here. The use of < and > signs could be confusing as hell. The use of these signs were a question on the old Literacy Tests as a requirement to vote. Why am I just now realizing that the Democrats of today simply do not want their constituents to be educated. My God, this just sunk in. My naivety.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 11:25, I have no intention of taking responsibility. These folks made their flea ridden beds so they can lie in them with the dogs who left the flea in them.

Anonymous said...

At some point this story will get too big to ignore. Keep up the good work, KF. When that finally happens, here's a suggested headline:

"Jackson, Ms. used bullcrap to treat actual crap in drinking water."

Anonymous said...

The truth was hidden under a continuous film of floc.

Anonymous said...

Where’s the Department of Justice when you need them? I guess now that they are all Democrats, the lives that are truly affected, do not matter. This is sad.

Anonymous said...

@11:45a- It is mind-boggling to me that the poorer communities have not figured this out!

The democrats WANT them ignorant. The democrats WANT them emotional. The democrats WANT their focus on issues that aren't the root of the problem. The democrats WANT them to remain dependent on the government and uneducated.

Like I commented earlier, Drake's gonna throw around a bunch of big words and point fingers elsewhere (white folks) and they will continue shuffling around oblivious and drinking toilet water.

Anonymous said...

The "movement" is toward immunity from crime, lies, incompetence, poor judgement and nonsense, for some of us.

Anonymous said...

I wonder when Lamumba last drank anything with Jackson water in it.

Boiled Boo Boo said...

Damn you people! How can Antar be expected to turn Jackson into the most radical city on the planet when you want him to do things like keep the water running? That's for other people to do. Antar has social justice to enact!

Anonymous said...

Is KF the only journalist covering this? The new executive editor of the Clarion-Ledger, Marion A. walker, posted this on te C-L website:

As a news organization, we began our healing last year with the Confederate Reckoning series, a USA TODAY Network project that, among other things, examined the Clarion Ledger's role in the systemic racism that exists today.

I hope we continue that healing by bringing more stories from our communities, unearthing Instagram chefs, highlighting the role Jackson State University football Coach Deion Sanders already is playing in economic development and other rich stories within the metro area.

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile -- drink dirty water.

Anonymous said...

AG? Governor? Lt Governor? Congress critter? Anyone besides KF going to do their jobs?

Anonymous said...

@ 2:30

And what would that job be ? Convert Jackson into a good place to live ? Bwahahahahahahahaha Intelligent people (especially pols) aren't going to tackle an impossible task only to fall on their face and ruin their future.

Anonymous said...

" highlighting the role Jackson State University football Coach Deion Sanders already is playing in economic development "

This is the first I've heard about Coach Dion's impact on economic development.

Please elaborate 2:14.

I'm aware he's improved the JSU football program on the field and with recruiting.
I think that's great !

But I didn't realize he was working wonders for the Jackson/Hinds economy.

Last I heard, he was pissed because someone stole his shoes or something from his office.

Anonymous said...

Another hit piece on the Mayor. Every time there was a possible issue with the water, the city sent out short, appropriate notices. If the city had sent out the long, complex EPA Order, how many people would have read it? I wouldn't have nor would have 99+ percent of the citizens.

Bottom line: The water is currently safe to drink, as KF admits in at least one of his serial posts about this issue.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish is doing an incredible job. And it's sad and embarrassing that the Mississippi Free Press, Mississippi Today, Jackson Free Press, and the Clarion Ledger ignore all of the ACTUAL FREAKING DOCUMENTS PROVIDED THROUGH A RECORDS REQUEST and instead focus on their agenda and bullcrap.

This crap is damn near unfixable. Let's be honest. There is nothing the state can do to fix it. All the state can do is give Jackson a crapload of money, listen to Lumumba say thanks, then sit back while Jackson pisses away the money and nothing gets done.

The actual pipe, plant, etc. can be fixed. It only takes money, and there are companies like Hemphill that have the expertise to do it. But how do you fix a lazy, incompetent, and untrained employee base? Think of a Boeing 747 having a mechanical issue AND the pilot has never flown a plane. You can fix the mechanical issue, but the pilot will still crash it because he doesn't know how to fly it. If you gave Jackson a brand new water system today, do you think those clowns could run it? Do you? If you gave your 2-year-old a new Mercedes, do you think they can drive it?

Anonymous said...

@11:12, well played. You made me chuckle out loud. Well played. {hand clap}

Anonymous said...

I think we all know that Kingfish is an unashamed racist. It seems that the only race he truly loves and defends is the Jewish Race. Perhaps the only thing he truly loves is money. Just like your typical Eunuch.

Anonymous said...

Drink as much Jackson water as you wish 3:43.

Anonymous said...

The water is currently safe to drink, except for the improper ph, which causes lead and copper to leech into the water, the failure to properly treat for Cryptosporidium, and the turbidity, which causes an "increased chance that the water may have contained disease-causing organisms."

Anyway, the people are too stupid to even read, much less understand the EPA order, right?

And after all, the Mayor says it's safe, and we have no reason not to trust him, right? Right?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for calling you a Eunuch, Kingfish. Your blog just reminds me too much of Lord Varys.

Anonymous said...

Never kick a fresh turb on a hot day!

Anonymous said...

Morgan & Morgan, where are you????? The fields are ripe for picking!!!!

Anonymous said...

Folks are gonna do like Charlie and start re-reouting their trips to L.A. via Omaha.

Anonymous said...

3:43 and 4:04. Thank you for pulling the old, tired racist theme. Antar is a fucking clown, the city council is a collection of clowns, and the only people running for the job are collectively clowns. Decent candidates of both races have left the cesspool for the burbs. Read that shit and weep, as you know it is the truth....and if a white person brings it up it is racist. Jackson, the city, is drowning in its own manure, neighborhood by neighborhood. Call that statement racist. Fine. It doesn't change the statement, which his true.

Anonymous said...

From USGS: “Turbidity is the measure of relative clarity of a liquid. It is an optical characteristic of water and is a measurement of the amount of light that is scattered by material in the water when a light is shined through the water sample. The higher the intensity of scattered light, the higher the turbidity. Material that causes water to be turbid include clay, silt, very tiny inorganic and organic matter, algae, dissolved colored organic compounds, and plankton and other microscopic organisms”.

Anonymous said...

3:43 the mayor be creatin his own hits. Hit pieces. This is news, not a fucking opinion. Stop being racist.

Channeling Slick Willie said...

It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘safe’ is. If the—safe the—word-safe if ‘safe’ means is and always has been, that is safe—that is one thing. If it means there is no not safe, that was a completely different statement. … Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having safe water, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said yes. And it would have been completely true. Of course, depending which day the question was asked. We plan which days to hold press conferences very carefully! It's a serious business running a great city and you have to play safe.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in Jackson is getting a taste of that Chocolate Pie from the novel and movie The Help

When asked for a statement, Mayor Lumumba replied “Let them eat Chocolate Pie”

Anonymous said...

The pH in water pipes is ideally at 8.2, not 7. The reason Jackson ran into trouble with the Lead-and-Copper Rule was that they were running 7pH coming out of the plant. You can do that for a while, but the water needs to be at the tagged edge of scale-forming. This cost the inside of the pipes with calcium and that encases the Lead and copper in fixtures. This is the same thing that happened in Flint, MI. Simple mistake by people who were inadequately trained.

Anonymous said...

6:20. Truth. Tell it. Truth. "Newbies" to 39211 are clueless. I have lived here 45 years, and the decline and "nasty" over the last 5 years or so is shocking. Homes are being "given away" for less than $100/foot. A new class of people for sure.

Anonymous said...

Mayor stated on WLBT tonight that it was hard to find a Class A water operator since Jackson was on the only system in MS that required a Class A. Search of the MS Health Department Water operator search site there are 6 class A operators in Hinds County that do not work for Jackson. Just because the water system is not a class A, does not mean they do not have an A operator. Getting one to work for Jackson may be another story.

Anonymous said...

8:48: Thanks for the informative comment!

Anonymous said...

Ridgeland gets water from Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Mayor stated on WLBT tonight that it was hard to find a Class A water operator since Jackson was on the only system in MS that required a Class A.

Yet another example that Peter Principle Chowkey will say anything to misdirect away from the incompetence of his administration.

He doesn't have the local media eating out of his hands, he has them groveling at his feet for crumbs.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ridgeland gets water from Jackson.

That's news to me. Thought their water was from deep wells.
Can you provide some details?

Anonymous said...

"Ridgeland gets water from Jackson." I was told that Ridgeland's water is Well water.

Kingfish said...

Ridgeland uses wells.

Anonymous said...

There were no public notifications of the EPA emergency order because Lumumba was covering up the existence of the order from Jacksonians and the City Council. Had JJ not broken this story Lumumba would still be covering up the order today.

Andy said...

I am not defending the Mayor or the sad state of dissrepair of the City of Jackson water plants, distribution system and billing issues. As a licensed water operator in the state of Mississippi, I will attest that the confusing language in the notices is standard boiler plate language that the MSDH requires you to issue unchanged in these notices to the public.

Kingfish said...

Exactly. It's somewhat disingenuous of him to say notices were sent out when all they are is this boilerplate gobbledygook that don't really say anything.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Jackson, moved away for work, and now for some reason I am choosing to co me back to live here in the city.

Can someone explain how I can drill my own water well at my house? How difficult is it to do/how do I start?

Anonymous said...

The only hope I have for this city is that it goes bankrupt, the state takes over, the feds take over, or some of the city facilities (i.e. water plant) get privatized.

Am I wrong in thinking these are the only ways out? How realistic are they? If you’ve ever done business with this city/county you know that things are much, much worse than what you see on this blog or the news.

And that’s really saying something.

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