Following recent water shortages that left thousands of individuals without access to drinking and running water, Jackson, Mississippi citizens launched a class action lawsuit against the city and engineering companies.
Thousands of People Left Without Safe Water
According to the lawsuit submitted late on September 16 in federal court, Jackson’s water system had been abandoned for a long time, which eventually caused it to be shut off completely in late August.
According to a civil complaint by four Jackson households, the residents lack more than simply drinking water or water for preparing powdered baby formula, cooking, washing, or laundry.
Citizens of Jackson were incapable of flushing their toilets for days on end during the protracted period. There was no water pressure in the city pipelines and they were still unable to increase the flow of water.
The city’s water system in Jackson, according to the plaintiffs, was “not suitable for human consumption because of excessive quantities of lead and other toxins even before the most recent water problem in the city.”
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— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center (@TheKingCenter) September 20, 2022
With no adequate sanitation or safe drinking water in 2022, Jackson residents are in an intolerable situation, according to plaintiffs in the case.
City Leaves Water System to Deteriorate.
Plaintiffs are requesting a number of things from the court, including a decision ordering the city to fix the water infrastructure and awarding an undefined sum of money as compensation.
The City of Jackson, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, former Mayor Tony Yarber, former Public Works Director Kishia Powell, and several others are all named as defendants in the complaint.
The water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi is still happening! #reparations
— S.Tacy (@callherstacyyy) September 11, 2022
In 2010, the municipality contracted Siemens Corp. to put in new water meters. Additionally, in 2016, it engaged Jackson-based engineering company Trilogy Engineering Services to operate on the city’s waterways.
The O.B. Curtis Water Plant, one of the city’s two primary water treatment plants, faltered on August 29 as a result of long-standing issues made worse by torrential rain and overflowing of the Pearl River.
This resulted in the most recent water problem and led to several weeks of work distributing bottled water throughout the city. On August 30, both the Biden administration and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves independently proclaimed states of emergency for Jackson.
The state’s boil water advisory for Jackson was revoked last week after the health department of Mississippi found safe drinking water had been returned to the city. When tests revealed elevated turbidity levels in late July, the boil water order was issued.
Attorneys for about 1,800 children have a separate federal complaint against Jackson that was submitted in October 2021.
Children were harmed and poisoned, according to the lawsuit, because the city and state governments did not stop lead pollution in the city’s water system.
According to Corey Stern, the case’s primary attorney, a resolution to the legal dispute is at minimum a few years away, according to WLBT.