Public Works Director Kishia Powell reported that tests conducted on water in elevated storage tanks contained no lead.
Photo by Imani Khayyam.
For the first time since January, the levels of lead in water sampled from the City of Jackson distribution system have tested below the EPA-mandated amount.
The tests were taken from elevated storage tanks used in the City's water distribution system. The 15 samples, the City's website states, were below the detection limit for lead. It does not include any details at what exactly the levels were, just that they were below "the detection limit" of 0.015 parts per billion.
The City is currently on a Corrosion Control Compliance Plan issued by the Mississippi Department of Health to address the corrosivity of the pipes in the older homes, including those that might slough off heavy minerals like lead into the drinking water. The MSDH has issued an advisory for young children, infants, and pregnant women to refrain from drinking the water over the next six months as the City takes steps to wrangle in the pH and alkalinity of the water.
"We turned in yesterday the corrosion-control study plan," Public Works Director Kishia Powell said during the April 19 City Council meeting.
"The water-quality parameter sampling shows that our pH is going up. We are still having problems getting the alkalinity as high as it needs to be."
Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes asked Powell about any interim solutions, including "the lime" feeds mentioned in earlier meetings. Powell said that Trilogy Engineering, that the City contracted with to produce a corrosion control study in the next several months.
"By the next meeting Phillip (Gibson of Trilogy) can give you some more details on the actual changes that he has suggested," Powell said, stating that these include new equipment and operational changes to the plants.