3 On Your Side Investigates: What's in your water? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 On Your Side Investigates: What's in your water?

Last week, the City of Jackson released preliminary re-sampling results for more than a dozen residences found to have higher than acceptable levels of lead. Source: WLBT Last week, the City of Jackson released preliminary re-sampling results for more than a dozen residences found to have higher than acceptable levels of lead. Source: WLBT
You can test your water, too, right at home. These water analysis kits can be found at any hardware store or home goods store. Source: WLBT You can test your water, too, right at home. These water analysis kits can be found at any hardware store or home goods store. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Water is a necessity to live, and as we’ve seen lately in Flint, Michigan, many residents have been stripped of that luxury.

But what about in the Jackson metro area? Is the water in your household safe to drink, bathe or wash with?

Rhonda Brown has been living in Jackson for two years and says she doesn’t trust the water.

"The water that we have now, it's like if you drink from the sink it's got a bite to it so we are always getting bottled water."

Last week, the City of Jackson released preliminary re-sampling results for more than a dozen residences found to have higher than acceptable levels of lead.

Thirteen out of 58 homes they tested showed actionable levels of lead. Those homes have been retested since and there was no detection of lead found in 6 of the homes.

Five of the homes now show lower levels. Of those, 2 locations still exceed the actionable level.

Jackson's Director of Public Works said, "It is not a concern or anything to cause people to stop drinking water. As I said, there are filter units that you can get, counter top filter units if you feel concerned."

Days before the City of Jackson came out with these findings, we bought water testing kits and did our own testing in Jackson, Madison and Flowood.

 Here’s what we found in Jackson:

Total Hardness 0 (Okay)

Total Chlorine 1 (Okay)

Alkalinity 80 (Okay)

Ph level 4 (Low)

Nitrite .5 (Okay)

Nitrate  5 (Okay)

Iron 0 (Okay)

The water did not show any lead or bacteria.

But the water’s copper content was at a 3, which is too high, and its Ph level is too low.

PH measures the acidity in water. High acid water can cause damage to any plumbing system.

"I have a son, so it does make me concerned for his sake," said Rhonda Brown. 

EPA compliance tests have to be performed every three years. Within those three years, water is tested throughout the state.

In June of 2015, the Mississippi Department of Health received water sample results in Jackson, but they were not released until January - 7 months later.

But why did it take so long?

Jim Craig, Director of Health Protection with the MS Department of Public Health said, "These samples came in June, but samples from around the state come in. At the end of a three year cycle a compliance report of all the samples is made and is reported out and when those reports were made the City of Jackson came up."

It’s a policy state health officials say they are looking into.

Madison’s water painted a different picture.

Its hardness, chlorine, Ph, nitrite, nitrate, copper and iron levels were all okay. There was also no lead or bacteria found in the water.

But the water did have a high level of alkalinity, which can cause dryness of the skin.

"I'm glad. Bear Creek Water is good because they charge so much more than the surrounding areas do," said a Madison resident.

Lastly, we tested the water in the Flowood area.

Total hardness - 0 (Okay)

Total Chlorine - 3 (not okay, too high)

Alkalinity - 180 (not okay, higher than normal)

Ph - 9 (high)

Nitrate - 0 (Okay)

Nitrate ppm - 5 (Okay)

There was no presence of copper, iron, lead, pesticides or bacteria. But the chlorine, alkalinity, and Ph levels were major red flags.

The results varied but experts say it’s good to know what’s in your water.

For Rhonda Brown it makes all the difference, especially as she raises her young son.

"That is harmful. You don't want to be putting hazardous things in your body."

You can test your water, too, right at home. These water analysis kits can be found at any hardware store or home goods store.

If you live in Jackson and would like to have your water tested, you can call the health department at 601-576-7518.

If you have additional questions, call the City of Jackson at 601-960-2091.

If you were one of the homeowners whose water tested positive for lead and would like to share your story, you can email our reporter Annette Peagler at apeagler@wlbt.com or email News@WLBT.COM

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