Mississippi residents warned to shower with mouths shut amid water crisis

Mississippi's capital city entered a fourth day on Thursday with little or no water flowing from faucets, authorities were scrambling to get a failing water treatment plant plagued by decades of deferred maintenance back online

Officials said they made progress overnight in refilling tanks, treating water and increasing pressure at the O.B. Curtis Water Plant, the facility at the root of the latest water woes in Jackson. Residents closer to the facility had pressure approaching normal levels, the city said in a news release, but added that many in the city still had little or no water pressure.

Reeves declared a state of emergency Monday night after excessive rainfall and flooding from the Pearl River exacerbated problems at the treatment plant. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state. Biden called Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba on Wednesday to discuss response efforts, including support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. 

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Thursday morning, the city reported "significant progress" in restoration efforts at the treatment plant, with output measuring 78 pounds per square inch, approaching a goal of 87 PSI. In addition to on-site repairs, the city is working to obtain more chemicals needed for treatment.

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