12 News Investigates: Do people trust the tap water in Jackson?

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – With the boil water notice being lifted for the City of Jackson, people are questioning whether the water is safe to drink. 12 News spoke to people in the community about the water coming out of the tap.

In a poll, eighteen percent of Jackson’s customers said they trust the water after the boil water notice was lifted, while nearly 82 percent said they would not trust it.

Quentin Greathree, who lives in Jackson, said he is familiar with the boil water notices in the city. He said the recent one that lasted more than month due to February’s winter storms was not surprising.

“I don’t trust the water in Jackson. I probably haven’t for quite some time. It doesn’t prevent me from being in Jackson and living in Jackson, but the frequency of living in Jackson and being in Jackson, it happens so often. It’s kind of hard to gauge when is it safe and when is it not safe, right?” he stated.

Greathree said he does not drink the water and spends a lot of money on bottled water.

“If I were to guesstimate, I’d say, let’s say per month, maybe about 50 bucks at least per month, because I like to drink a lot of water. Water is good for you. So I like to drink it a good bit, and I like to exercise. So I like to stay healthy, and I need my water so I spend a pretty penny on water.”

The costs have been adding up for restaurant owners like Nathan Glenn.

Nathan Glenn, the owner of Rooster’s and Basil’s said, “We have tripled filters on all tea machines and our water and coke machines. So we have so many people that just come in and get their regular glass of water. So unfortunately, it really gets passed on to the consumer that would normally drink their regular filtered water, but getting porta johns… it’s already difficult as it is.”

Glenn said he has a good base of customers. He trusts the water is safe after the City of Jackson lifted the boil water advisory.

“They come back and the city says its, okay you know and I trust the scientists. And there’s no doubt the city is in a water crisis, and we always have been. And you really can’t blame the current administration. There’s no doubt for years it’s been declining and nobody has addressed the problem.”

Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said he understands people’s hesitation to drink the water.

“I can understand their concerns. We have to build a sustainable system that invokes trust and dependability. But in order to build a sustainable system, it requires funding to be able to accomplish that goal,” he stated.

Click here to see how the Mississippi State Department of Health determines when to issue and when to lift a boil water notice.

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