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Mayor: City "turning a corner" in water crisis

Harvey Johnson at Thursday's 11a.m. press conference

Harvey Johnson at Thursday's 11 a.m press conference.

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson told local media on Thursday said at an 11 a.m. city hall press conference today that he had “encouraging news” for a city that continues to boil water and use portable toilets in the wake of a crippling “water crisis.” 

“Our fuel plant this morning is pumping out at 59 PSI (pounds per square inch),” Johnson said in a press conference at City Hall. “This means that every area across the city should have some water.” A sustained reading of 20 PSI is the minimum requirement for state health officials to be able to test the water.

Of the 142 water line breaks that have been reported, Mayor Johnson said that 114 of these had already been repaired by Thursday. He cautioned residents that more breaks are possible as the water pressure continues to build in the system. Previous pleas for the population to continue to conserve and boil water remain in place. Johnson asked citizens to continue to conserve water and to boil drinking water. “I can’t guarantee that this won’t happen again,” Johnson said.

Jackson public schools remain closed today as well as many downtown offices. Johnson said that businesses and agencies in Jackson would need to decide for themselves whether to reopen or not. The National Guard has provided five thousand gallon water tankers for fire protection for the city.

Johnson said that the city to needs increase and maintain water pressure at 60 PSI to accommodate for possible future breakings breaks. He added that crews would continue reduce outstanding breaks with a goal of 20 percent.

“The state’s been very helpful,” Johnson said. “MDOT is breaking surfaces for us and backfilling holes so that crews can move on to the next break.”

Citizens wishing to report breaks or ask questions may call a fully staffed hotline at (601) 960-1111.Jackson mayor Harvey Johnson told local media on Thursday that he had “encouraging news” for a city that continues to boil water and use portable toilets in the wake of a crippling “water crisis”.

“Our fuel plant this morning is pumping out at 59 (pounds per square inch),” Johnson said in a press conference at City Hall. “This means that every area across the city should have some water.” A sustained reading of 20 PSI is the minimum requirement for state health officials to be able to test the water.

Of the 142 water line breaks that have been reported, Mayor Johnson said that 114 of these had been repaired by Thursday. He cautioned residents that more breaks are possible as the water pressure continues to build in the system. Previous pleas for the population to continue to conserve and boil water remain in place. “I can’t guarantee that this won’t happen again,” Johnson said.

Jackson public schools remain closed today as well as many downtown offices. Johnson said that businesses and agencies in Jackson would need to decide for themselves whether to reopen or not. The National Guard has provided five thousand gallon tankers for fire protection for the city.

Johnson said that the city to needs increase and maintain water pressure at 60 PSI to accommodate for possible future breakings. He added that crews would continue reduce outstanding breaks with a goal of 20 percent.

“The state’s been very helpful,” Johnson said. “MDOT is breaking surfaces for us and backfilling holes so that crews can move on to the next break.”

Citizens wishing to report breaks or ask questions may call a fully staffed hotline at (601) 960-1111.

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