Meter installations reveal lead connections at 16 Jackson homes

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba speaks at a previous news conference.
Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba speaks at a previous news conference.(WLBT)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Meter installations have revealed that another 16 addresses in the capital city have lead in the water.

Wednesday, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said crews determined that the connections at 16 addresses had lead pipes, meaning the water going into those homes is contaminated.

He said his office has reached out to those homeowners and is planning to provide water filtration systems to use until the connections can be replaced.

“There should be no lead service lines. And so, obviously, these had lead in them. And so, we want to remediate that, and we want to deal with it,” the mayor said. “No level of lead is permissible.”

Lumumba said the connections are located at points across the city. He did not know the demographic makeup of the homes or businesses.

The news comes as the city faces multiple lawsuits related to its water system. Attorneys representing 1,800 children filed suit in federal court last year, saying years of exposure to lead means their clients will “forever suffer cognitive deficits.”

Meanwhile, a class action suit was filed in federal court this month, with clients saying they’re suffering from numerous negative health effects related to drinking contaminated water.

The connections were discovered when meters at the addresses were being replaced. Jackson is currently replacing about 56,000 devices across the city as part of efforts to revamp its billing system. So far, nearly 24,000 new meters have been put in the ground.

“16 out of 23,904 is a pretty good percentage, right? However... we’re not pleased with any resident having to deal with a content of lead,” Lumumba said. “We’re going to be very proactive in our communication. We’re going to be very proactive in our response to this throughout the city.”

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