JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Request for Proposal (RFP) process surrounding the operation and maintenance contract for the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility is expected to be complete in November.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba said vendors began touring the water plant ahead of the November 7 application deadline.

With the contract needing approval from the Jackson City Council, the mayor said the voting body has been kept in the loop on all updates.

“The council has been updated consistently by our city attorney’s office, so they know what stage everything is in. They’re not being kept in the blind with respect to what’s going on,” Lumumba said.

He continued, “If and when we land on a contractor, it will be presented before the council. and the expectation would be their vote on it up or down. And so, we feel that it is beneficial to make sure that they know where we are in the process.”

November 17 is the target date for a maintenance and operating contract to be put in place. If a contract is delayed or not agreed upon by then, a temporary contract would be pursued.

The mayor also said the city is in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. He said testing conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) concluded that the water was safe to drink.

However, lead and copper testing results are unavailable as of October 31, 2022.

“The lead and copper results are not in just yet. Sampling is complete, and the results are expected by mid November, so we are eagerly anticipating those results,” said Lumumba.

According to the EPA, the maximum contaminant level for copper is 1.3 milligrams per liter, while lead is zero milligrams per liter.