The State Department of Health and City officials in Jackson are advising residents of high lead levels in the drinking water of some homes. MPB's Maura Moed reports on how the City plans to take action.
The Health Department recommends children six years old and younger see their pediatrician or primary care provider for lead screening and blood testing. They say expectant mothers should only drink filtered or bottled water, and infants should only be fed with “ready-to-feed” or formula prepared with filtered or bottled water.
Even with the high alert, Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber says there is no need for residents to be concerned.
"There has not been any notification to the city of Jackson that our water is unsafe. These are just extra precautions that the State Health Department and the city of Jackson have been taking," Yarber says.
Jackson City Councilman Dekeither Stamps says although Jackson’s water is far from Flint-level horror, he doesn't want to get any closer. He says he wants to issue a state of emergency - something he's been pushing for weeks.
"I'm continuing that pursuit for housing and urban development to step in and offer assistance because if you aren't fixing the pipes in people's houses, you're not fixing the problem," says Stamps.
Director of Public Works, Kishia Powell, says the outdated piping infrastructure is not the city's responsibility.
"This is still considered a home-dependent event. Water Chemistry is reacting with lead-based plumbing.The control that we do have is to treat the water to a point where we have as little reaction across the city as possible, and that's the point that we're trying to get to," says Powell.
Powell says the treatment doesn't guarantee that the water will be free of trace lead amounts. It will just cut down on corrosion.