JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) stands ready to test water samples from the City of Jackson over the holiday weekend. Once the Division of Water Supply receives the water samples, testing will begin immediately.
A total of 160 samples, including both ground and surface water, will need to be tested. The number of samples required for testing is based on an established plan that includes the area and what procedures need to be followed. Water samples can be collected in the rain; however, extra precautions must be followed in order to prevent sample contamination.
The Jackson boil water advisory cannot be lifted until test results show two consecutive days of clear samples for all 160 submissions. All 1,276 water systems in Mississippi are required to regularly submit samples for testing on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, depending on population. All tests are completed in the Mississippi State Public Health Laboratory.
MSDH reminds those affected by Jackson-area boil water alerts that as water pressure returns, the water is NOT safe to drink until the boil water advisory is lifted. MSDH will alert the public through the media, its website and Twitter when Jackson water is safe to drink again.
Until the boil water advisory is lifted, affected residents should follow these guidelines:
- Do not drink tap water.
- Do not use ice made from recent tap water.
- Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks.
- Cook with tap water only if food is boiled for at least one minute.
- Wash dishes, fruits and vegetables in boiled water or water that has been disinfected with bleach.
- Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.
- Wash your hands and bathe as usual. Bathing is safe as long as no water is swallowed.
Take the following steps to treat water:
- Bring water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute to kill most organisms.
- If you cannot boil your water, mix eight drops (1/8 teaspoon) of unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Mix the solution thoroughly, and let stand for about 30 minutes before using.
For more information on boil water recommendations visit the MSDH website at www. HealthyMS.com or call us toll free at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948).
NOTE TO MEDIA: after hours and during emergencies, call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948) for media inquiries.