UNITED STATES: The state of Mississippi scrambled to restart a long-neglected water treatment plant in its capital city on Tuesday, a day after it broke down, leaving about 180,000 residents without drinking water for possibly several days.
Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Monday night for Jackson, population 150,000, and surrounding communities of another 30,000, warning residents not to drink the water.
“Until it’s fixed, it means we don’t have reliable running water at scale. It means the city can’t produce enough water to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets and to meet other critical needs,” Reeves said, referring to the treatment. plant.
According to U.S. Census data, Jackson, whose residents are more than 80% black or African-American, had been on a boil water alert for a month.
He had to tell his 210 employees to stay home, and in the restaurant business, he says, that means they’re not getting paid.“Their hours are cancelled,” he said. “It’s a struggle and extremely stressful.
The Republican governor said state officials on Tuesday were to set up an incident management centre in O.B. Curtis Water Plant, which was operating with smaller backup pumps after the facility’s main pumps were severely damaged.
Reeves said he learned Friday that it was only a matter of time before the plant failed to produce running water after years of poor operation and maintenance.
“Unfortunately, it appears that the failure has started,” he said, adding that state officials are working to repair the plant.
He said the state emergency management agency was in charge of distributing bottled drinking water and tanker trucks for other water needs, calling the operation a “massively complicated logistical task.”
Jackson Public Schools were closed Tuesday as classes were moved online. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency for the water system on Monday, citing complications from the recent Pearl River flooding.
The flooding caused complications at a water treatment plant located next to a reservoir that feeds into the river north of the city, the city said in a statement. It said the water shortage will likely continue for the next few days.
In addition to O.B. The Curtis plant processes 50 million gallons (227,300 cubic meters) per day, and the city operates the Fewell plant, whose normal production of 20 million has been increased to 30 million gallons due to the situation.
The current crisis follows several episodes of interruption of water supply to the city in recent years. In February, a pair of winter storms caused most residents in Jackson to briefly lose running water.
In 2016, customers were notified of high lead levels in the city’s water supply caused by repeated faulty water treatment techniques. A year ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency order saying the water supply might contain E. Coli, Mississippi Today reports.