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Concerns remain as disinfection levels in samples conflict with the state’s results

JACKSON, Miss. – JXN Water remains focused on providing Water for All, All the Time and stands on its compliance record for the past 12 months in consistently delivering safe drinking water to all customers. JXN Water is required to take regular monthly samples from the distribution system at 120 sampling locations throughout the city’s surface water system and test them for bacteria (total coliform and e-coli) to ensure the water is safe. Those samples are collected by JXN Water contractors and taken to the state lab for analysis. Yesterday, January 10th, JXN Water delivered samples to the state lab for analysis. 

“We were informed today, just before noon, that two of the samples tested positive for e-coli. We were also informed that two samples from Flowood, also delivered to the state lab yesterday afternoon also tested positive. Having positive results from any system is unusual – having two positives from two different water systems seems highly suspect,’ said Ted Henifin, Interim Third Party Manager. “Laboratories are not perfect. Mistakes are made. Typically, laboratories have standard operating procedures to validate sample results – especially unusual and unexpected results – before taking action. We requested the state lab do that before taking any action on the results from yesterday’s samples. They chose not to do that and issued a city-wide boil water notice.”

“In cases where uncertainties arise, conducting additional testing emerges as the proper protocol. This proactive measure ensures the accuracy of results, enabling laboratories to take prompt and appropriate actions to safeguard public health. Importantly, this approach is designed to prevent unnecessary stress and concern within the community,” said Yvonne Mazza-Lappi, Jacobs Drinking Water Compliance Manager.

Today, JXN Water and Jacobs took additional confirmation samples in accordance with the Revised Total Coliform Rule.

Next, JXN Water will resample all 120 locations for two consecutive days to clear samples to get the state issued order lifted. JXN Water will continue issuing boil water notices and lifts as water main repairs line breaks, and emergency crew work continues throughout the city of Jackson. Notices are posted on JXNwater.com and issued through real-time alerts on NextDoor.

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By Jackson Advocate News Service
January 12, 2024