Mississippi city with water woes to replace some lead pipes

Sep 28, 2022, 3:22 AM | Updated: 3:23 pm
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Jackson, Miss., regardin...

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Jackson, Miss., regarding updates on the ongoing water infrastructure issues, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Officials in Mississippi’s capital city said Wednesday that workers have found lead in water pipes at 16 buildings out of nearly 24,000 checked so far — the latest indication of problems in Jackson’s long-troubled water system.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba acknowledged “no level of lead is permissible” in drinking water.

The pipes with lead are not large distribution lines that run underneath streets, he said. Rather, they are smaller pipes that connect distribution lines to individual buildings.

Lumumba said the city will mail notices Thursday to owners of the 16 buildings to tell them about the pipes with lead. He said the city will offer filtration systems as a temporary solution until the pipes can be replaced at the city’s expense.

The dangerous pipes were found as workers were replacing water meters, and the lead caused the workers “some level of alarm,” Lumumba said. The meter replacement work is about halfway finished and is expected to wrap up by March.

“Out of 23,900 meter installations, to only reveal 16 is certainly promising news that it is that few,” said Lumumba, a Democrat. “However, we’re not pleased with any resident having to deal with a lead connection.”

Most of Jackson’s 150,000 residents lost running water for several days in late August and early September after heavy rainfall exacerbated problems in the city’s main treatment plant. At that time, the city had already been under a boil-water notice since late July because of cloudy water that could make people ill. The notice was lifted Sept. 15, after being in place nearly seven weeks.

Jackson has had water system problems for years, and tests by the state health department in 2015 found higher-than-acceptable lead levels in some water samples. The city continues to publish public notices about water quality not meeting minimum standards.

Lumumba said 16 buildings with bad pipes are in different parts of the city, not in a concentrated area. He said he thinks most are homes rather than businesses.

Jackson is facing multiple lawsuits over water quality, including one filed Sept. 16 that seeks to force the city to remove pipes that contain lead. The mayor said Wednesday that he would not comment on litigation.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan said Monday in Jackson that the federal government wants to work with the city to ensure Jackson can sustain its water system. The Justice Department also sent a letter threatening legal action if the city does not agree to negotiations related to the system.

Jackson’s population is about 80% Black, with about one-quarter of residents living in poverty. The NAACP filed a complaint with the EPA Tuesday asking the agency to investigate whether Mississippi has directed an equitable share of water funding to Jackson compared to the funding sent to majority-white communities.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

concede...
Associated Press

GOP’s Joe Kent contests results of Washington state race

Republican Joe Kent's campaign said Friday it intends to request a machine ballot recount of the counties within southwest Washington state's 3rd Congressional District.
16 hours ago
Gavel...
Associated Press

Case against man arrested in 1994 death of woman dismissed

Criminal charges against a man suspected in the 1994 murder of a Vancouver, Washington, woman have been dismissed.
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Global survey: workplace violence, harassment is widespread

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The first attempt to survey the extent of violence and harassment at work around the globe has found that workplace abuse is widespread, and particularly pronounced among young people, migrants, and wage earners, especially women. More than 22% of the nearly 75,000 workers in 121 countries surveyed last year reported having […]
16 hours ago
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, center, and Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, left, look on as Secre...
Associated Press

Kentucky’s Dem governor files for red-state reelection bid

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Fresh off an event trumpeting Kentucky’s largest-ever economic development project, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear filed for reelection Monday, touting his work to increase jobs, expand health care and support teachers during a term marred by a pandemic and deadly storms. Beshear defended his efforts to combat COVID-19 and downplayed any potential […]
16 hours ago
Ydamelys Moreno, right, watches as fellow female boxers train in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022...
Associated Press

Boxing powerhouse Cuba lets women boxers compete

HAVANA (AP) — Legnis Cala Massó carefully removes her necklace and smiles as her coach slides her bright red boxing gloves over her French tip nails. The 31-year-old swings her wiry body into the ring and pounds her fellow boxer – also a young woman – with a series of punches, just as she’s done […]
16 hours ago
Ted Henifin, left, the City of Jackson water system third-party administrator, addresses media ques...
Associated Press

DOJ appointee eyes 1-year window for Jackson water upgrades

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The manager appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee reforms to the beleaguered water system in Mississippi’s capital city said he hopes to wrap up work in one year or less. Ted Henifin outlined his intended time frame during a news conference Monday, echoing the Justice Department’s order appointing […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Mississippi city with water woes to replace some lead pipes