The U.S. EPA has declared Jackson, Mississippi's, water safe to drink just over two months after a water treatment plant failure.
According to CNN, on Monday, October 31, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said that "the EPA determined the city is now in compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act, which regulates public drinking water standards."
This determination is for both of the city's treatment plants.
“Current sampling confirms water delivered from J.H. Fewell Water and O.B. Curtis Water Treatment is safe to drink. In addition, sampling for lead and copper has been completed and results are expected in mid-November,” the EPA statement said.
Governor Tate Reeves has extended Mississippi's state of emergency order for the city of Jackson’s water crisis to November 22.
Reeves first issued the order on August 30 following torrential rain and major operational failures at Jackson's main treatment plant, the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant. The operational failures caused widespread problems within the city's water system, including lack of water pressure and brown water coming from faucets. Jackson had been under a boil water notice for over 40 days, a CNN article said.
Following torrential rain, on top of water system issues, Jackson's main water treatment plant began failing in August. Earlier, in late July, there was cloudy water at the main plant, O.B. Curtis Plant, and the city was put under a boil water notice.
According to a CNN Article, Mayor Lumumba said he plans to have private operator for the city's water system in place by November 17. With the emergency order ending November 22, it will allow for a five-day transition period between the state’s management and private operator.
Additionally, the EPA announced it will be investigating whether the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality “discriminated against the majority Black population of the City of Jackson on the basis of race in the funding of water infrastructure and treatment programs and activities,” the CNN article said.