After about seven weeks of being forced to boil their water before drinking it or using it to brush their teeth, residents of the Mississippi capital were told on Thursday that tap water could be consumed without danger.
For much of the summer, Jackson residents were told to boil all water used for drinking, preparing food and cooking on a stove before using it after the health department discovered bacteria in cloudy water coming out of taps in July. The situation worsened in August after heavy rains caused flooding and the breakdown of one of the city’s two water treatment plants. Low or no water pressure has left many residents without enough water to drink, bathe or flush the toilet.
Governor Tate Reeves and city officials confirmed Thursday that the water has been fully restored and the boil water advisory has been lifted.
“We have restored clean water to the city of Jackson,” Reeves said at a press conference.
BROWN WATER:Brown water coming out of faucets in Jackson.
RACIAL INEQUITY:Flooding opened Jackson’s water crisis, but it can’t be divorced from race, experts say
The city also sent out a notice letting residents know they were safe after testing.
“Residents are advised to run their faucets for a few minutes to drain any old water,” Jackson’s press release reads. “The City of Jackson would like to thank all of the local, state and federal partners who have assisted us.”
The news came just a week after a video went viral showing dark brown water coming out of taps in the majority black city. Water issues are not uncommon in the city due to its aging infrastructure which is in desperate need of upgrading. Residents have faced concerns about lead in water, and a cold snap last year froze pipes, leaving people without water for weeks.
Experts say the problems in the majority-black city are an example of failing American infrastructure for low-income residents of color.
Local restaurateur Jeff Good, owner of Sal and Mookies and other restaurants, said his Jackson restaurants will switch to using city water on Thursday after the official notice.
“We (will) clean the filters and start,” said Good.
Derek Emerson of the local Walker’s Drive-in said he would run the taps for a while before using city water, but said he would use it.
“I hope it lasts,” Emerson said.
The city of Jackson also said Thursday that one of the city’s two treatment plants has remained under constant pressure for the past 24 hours.
During Jackson’s water crisis, low or no water pressure left about 150,000 residents without enough water for drinking, bathing, washing dishes or flushing the toilet.
On Thursday, the city said it was “still receiving isolated reports of discolored water and pressure issues.”
“These reports are decreasing every day,” the statement said. “A lot of these issues are related to routine water leaks or meter issues.”
Contributors: Jeanine Santucci, Nada Hassanein, Ashley R. Williams, Celina Tebor, USA TODAY; Associated Press