JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, the Jackson City Council met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leaders to discuss the capital city’s water crisis and issues at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility.
The EPA has sent notices of noncompliance to the city three times in the past three years. There have been a number of issues since, including an electrical panel fire, a treatment chemical explosion and a turbidity violation.
Leaders with the EPA said the city has been making improvements, but staffing and maintenance are still major issues.
“It is difficult to project the outages and boil water notices because without sufficient staffing of Class A operators and adequate maintenance staff and doing adequate maintenance. The system is going to have unexpected outages,” explained Carol Kemker, director of Compliance and Assurance at the EPA.
While the city continues to work to fix the issues at the plant, leaders are also planning ahead in case of future outages.
“They are working on an agreement with Brown Bottling Group, as well as some of the local grocery stores to say, when we go through these situations, we have something that is formally in place,” said Marlin King, director of Public Works for the City of Jackson.
Although the EPA said Jackson has been only in intermittent compliance with their terms under a consent decree, the agency has never imposed any fines or penalties on the city.