Main break, filter problems lead to low water pressure in south Jackson

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 3:31 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Homes and businesses in South Jackson again are experiencing low water pressure following a major water main break and problems at the O.B. Curtis Treatment Plant.

However, city leaders say pressure should be fully restored Friday morning.

“We’re pushing water through the system right now,” said City Engineer Charles Williams. “We just need a good night.”

Wednesday night, a perfect storm of complications led to water pressure drops in South Jackson.

A six-inch main on Claiborne Avenue broke and shortly after, two membrane trains at the Curtis plant were taken offline after they failed integrity tests.

The Curtis plant treats water in two ways: the conventional method and the membrane filtration method.

On the membrane side, water is pumped in and diverted to the trains, which then filter the water before it is chemically treated and sent into the distribution system, Williams explained previously.

“The trains have to pass a series of tests to stay in production. They ended up discovering there was a valve that was sticking,” Williams said. “The water main break on Claiborne was just bad timing.”

Claiborne, which is a six-inch main, broke Wednesday afternoon. The city noticed water levels at two nearby storage tanks dropping around 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the two membrane trains were temporarily taken offline around midnight.

“We were not able to get enough water into the system to refill those tanks overnight, so this morning there was low water pressure,” he said. “We couldn’t recover with those things going on.”

People living in South Jackson, including in the Forest Hills area and at the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center, all began experiencing low water pressure Thursday morning.

“It went down this morning and we started calling the city at that point,” said County Administrator Kenny Wayne Jones. “When they started calling the city, the city immediately responded.”

He said Henley-Young was never without water and expects the pressure there to be restored soon.

Said Williams, “The leak is repaired on Claiborne, and we have our trains back in operation. If everything goes well tonight, we should be good to go.”

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