JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) and Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba met with United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan to discuss the Jackson water crisis.
The leaders discussed financing options for long-term repairs and upgrades at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility. The water system lost pressure due to the flooding from the Pearl River more than one week ago.
Lumumba said the city is pursuing all available options for financing the repairs and that funding for system fixes will require affordability. Reeves said the state will need assurances on city operations and billing management.
According to Regan, a plan on how the fixes will be paid for is a vital first step.
“We do need to have applications in place from cities like Jackson to make them competitive for these historic investments that we have at our fingertips,” he stated.
A plan to fix the issues at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility has not been released by the City of Jackson as of Sept. 7, 2022.
Earlier in the day, Regan met with Jackson neighbors to hear their input in the ongoing water crisis.
On Wednesday, Jackson officials said the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility has remained at a steady pressure for more than 24 hours, according to the City of Jackson. Leaders said the plant is currently working at 87 PSI.
Officials also said gains were made in the overhead storage tanks, and the margin that had been depleted on Monday was restored by Wednesday. All storage tanks have stable water levels.
On Tuesday, the membrane plant increased production by more than two million gallons from the previous day. Leaders said the four filters in operation on the conventional side are able to be controlled from the operations room instead of manually by a staff member.
Repairs to high service pumps that deliver pressure and water to the city were made on Tuesday and will continue on Wednesday. Restoration of the ammonia water line will happen on Wednesday in order to help improve water quality in the distribution system.
Leaders said two plant operators were issued provisional Class A Water Operator licenses by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) on Tuesday. There are now four Class A Operators at O.B. Curtis.
Investigative sampling will continue on Wednesday to monitor water quality. According to officials, the investigative samples from Tuesday were better than anticipated, but the distribution system is not ready for full sampling to clear the boil water notice.
Jackson has been under a boil water notice since July 29, 2022. There will need to be two rounds of clear samples in order to lift the boil water notice.
Watch the full news conference below: