'Do Not Drink The Water': Mississippi Governor Warns Residents

By Jason Hall

August 30, 2022

US-ENVIRONMENT-WATER
Photo: Getty Images

Jackson, Mississippi, the state's largest city, is without a reliable water supply after its main water treatment facility failed on Monday (August 29), Governor Tate Reeves said via CNN.

"Please stay safe. Do not drink the water. In too many cases, it is raw water from the reservoir being pushed through the pipes," Reeves said. "Be smart, protect yourself, protect your family."

Reeves said he plans to declare a state of emergency as state authorities attempt to distribute water to the city's 180,000 residents.

Jackson's water system has dealt with issues in recent years, which included being shut down entirely by a winter storm in February 2021, resulting in tens of thousands of residents without water for a month as the COVID-19 pandemic continued.

The recent main water treatment facility failure occurred as the city dealt with dangerously high floods, which resulted from record-setting rain causing the Pearl River to crest.

"It means we do not have reliable running water at scale. It means the city cannot produce enough water to fight fires, to reliably flush toilets and to meet other critical needs," Reeves said.

Jackson Public Schools officials announced the district will shift to virtual learning on Tuesday (August 30) amid the ongoing issues.

The water pressure issue is currently at the top of a state-imposed boiler water notice, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health, which confirmed the water was unsafe to drink or use while brushing teeth.

"The water is not safe to drink. I’d even say it’s not safe to brush your teeth with — because we are not seeing adequate chlorination and an inability to consistently disinfect the water," State Health Officer Daniel Edney said during a news conference via NBC News.

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