Governor Reeves to Jackson citizens: Do not drink the water

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 9:32 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - During an emergency press briefing on Monday night, Governor Tate Reeves urged Jackson residents not to drink tap water from their homes following the city’s main water treatment plant failing.

“Do not drink the water,” Governor Reeves emphatically said. “In too many cases, it is raw water from the reservoir being pushed through the pipes. Be smart. Protect yourself, protect your family, preserve water, and look out for your fellow man and look out for your neighbors.”

On Tuesday, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency tweeted the following: “DO NOT DRINK tap water or make ice from it. Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water. Do not give tap water to pets!”

They also advised to cook with bottled or boiled water and to wash dishes and produce with boiled or disinfected water.

Officials say residents should boil their water for three minutes fully before using it to brush their teeth or cook food. Even so, residents should be cautious about using the water regardless.

“This is a very different situation from a boil water notice which is also a serious situation that citizens of Jackson have become tragically numb to,” said Reeves. “Until it is fixed, it means we do not have reliable running water at scale.”

State Health Officer Dr. Daniel Edney reiterated, “As the governor said, the water is not safe to drink, and I would even say it’s not safe to brush your teeth with. Because we are not seeing adequate chlorination and an inability to disinfect the water.”

The governor says starting Tuesday morning, there will be a unified Incident Command Center at O.B. Curtis. The initial efforts will be to get the facility operating as quickly as possible, although officials do not have a timeline on when that could be.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said production at the city’s main water treatment facility had been cut due to complications from the Pearl River flood.

Both the mayor and governor have made it clear that Jackson is not cutting water to residents. If citizens are experiencing little to no water pressure, it is due to issues at O.B. Curtis.

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