Jackson's water crisis - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson's water crisis

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Thousands of South Jackson residents are under a boil water notice until further notice.

City officials say a leak in a large water main in West Jackson is causing the problem. A two-inch hole in the pipe, a 42 inch main, began to leak several weeks ago and that is what now has much of South Jackson under a boil water alert.

Work began after noon Friday and will continue through the weekend until 100 feet of pipe is replaced. The work will cost the city $150,000. Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson says city officials have known there was a problem for several weeks.

"I mean we were monitoring this and if you go up and down the highway here, you'll notice some puddles of water, pretty deep puddles of water. And so that indicated to us that we had a leak. We had to discover where that leak was," Mayor Johnson said.

The pipe is 20-years-old and Mayor Johnson says it is unclear why the leak developed, but says shifting soil may be to blame. The affected area is south of Interstate 20 from the Pearl River to Robinson Road Extension. Johnson says based on the information available, a plan was put into place but unanticipated problems occurred.

"We had low pressure in downtown, we had low pressure at Metrocenter, we had low pressure at the medical mall. I mean those areas, we did not anticipate but again the good news is that the pressure has been rising in those areas. So that means the water has been meandering through the system and now it's coming out where it's supposed to," Johnson added. 

Mayor Johnson urges anyone who experiences water pressure problems to let city officials know. "We are going to have our 311 operators available, live until midnight tonight. So if you are experiencing low water pressure, have any questions or you don't have water, please let us know," said Johnson. 

A major concern is Central Mississippi Medical Center and hospital officials have activated their emergency operations plan to care for their patients. All weekend activities at Jackson State University have been canceled.

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