JXN Water Operations Update About Ongoing Improvements to the Jackson Water System

The Jackson, Mississippi, water system operates under Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) regulatory oversight. As the law requires, JXN Water notifies the MSDH if exceedances occur related to the water system and the MSDH provides this information regularly to the public.

This week the MSDH will notify the public of violations associated with Corrosion Control Treatment for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead & Copper Rule.

The water system has received the “Failure to Meet Water Quality Parameters” violation since 2018 and the “Failure to Install Corrosion Control Treatment” since 2020. Unfortunately, these two violations will continue to occur, and notices issued until Mississippi State Department of Health-approved treatment improvements are put in place at the water treatment plants and the associated Water Quality Parameters can reliably be met.

JXN Water contracted Jacobs to operate the J.H. Fewell (JHF) and O.B. Curtis (OBC) water treatment plants and water system tanks, wells and booster stations on February 20, 2023. JXN Water retained operations and maintenance of the water distribution system, the piping and components that carry potable water from the treatment plants to consumers.

“To address long-term water system compliance issues, JXN Water and Jacobs are working to implement improvements that will allow the system to achieve the Mississippi State Department of Health-approved Water Quality Parameters,” said Dr. Russell Ford, Jacobs Global Solutions Director for Drinking Water and Reuse. “Jacobs and JXN Water are committed to bringing the Jackson water system into regulatory compliance under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).”

Maintaining compliance with the Water Quality Parameters depends on the water produced from the water treatment plants and the state of the distribution system and its operation.

Jacobs has been working diligently to operate the water treatment facilities safely and efficiently. In addition to onboarding existing staff and providing ongoing training and development, Jacobs is developing standard operating procedures and implementing critical systems and processes, a maintenance management system, and a laboratory/compliance program.

Since late February, Jacobs has:

  • Restored Water Treatment capacity to the O.B Curtis (OBC) Plant through membrane repairs – The membrane plant initially produced 10 Million Gallons per Day (MGD). Jacobs identified and repaired multiple issues with the membranes improving production. The membrane plant now has an average finished water production of more than 20 MGD stabilizing the OBC Plant to allow for completion of other critical repairs in the plant.
  • Improved water treatability – Jacobs provided a solution to clear the main sediment basin drain line working with a local, onsite construction contractor. This clear line now allows for regular and efficient draining and cleaning of the three OBC sedimentation basins, a key part of the water production This cost-effective solution eliminated a long-term, temporary pump previously required to clear the basins.
  • Increased capacity and improved production stabilization – Working with the local onsite construction contractor and a local engineering firm, Jacobs oversaw the completion of ongoing repairs to Filter #24 at the J. H. Fewell water treatment plant returning the filter to service. This repair provides an additional 2 MGD of filtration capacity, stabilizing the plant operations and allowing for filter maintenance while maintaining plant water production.
  • Hired 47 operators, mechanics, technicians, and support personnel to address understaffing – When Jacobs arrived onsite, the plants were not adequately staffed to operate and maintain the water treatment Jacobs hired 47 individuals, including licensed operators and brought their pay and benefits up to industry benchmarks.
  • Engaged industry experts to conduct a Desktop Corrosion Control Study – Coordinating with industry experts, Jacobs is assessing corrosion control practices across the water treatment and distribution Improvement recommendations arising from this study will be coordinated with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the EPA for approval prior to implementation.

While improvements are in progress, Jacobs and JXN Water will operate the water treatment system to achieve water quality in line with regulatory parameters and are committed to keeping the public informed of efforts.

Anyone with concerns about their water quality, please contact JXN Water Customer Service at 601-500-5200.