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E. Coli Found in Jackson, Flowood Water; State Issues Boil Water Alerts

Tests indicating the presence of E. coli bacteria in the water prompted the Mississippi State Department of Health to issue state-imposed boil water alerts this afternoon for residents who receive their water from the City of Jackson’s water supply in Hinds County and the City of Flowood’s water supply in Rankin County.

“Water sampling showed the presence of E. coli. bacteria,” the alerts say. “Health officials strongly recommend that all water be boiled vigorously for one minute before it is consumed.

This precaution will last at least two full days and water system officials will be immediately notified when the boil water alert is lifted.”

Graphic courtesy Rankin County Emergency Operations

MSDH notes that “the presence of these bacteria in water generally results from a problem with the treatment process or pipes which distribute the water.”

“The United States Environmental Protection Agency sets drinking water standards and has determined that the presence of E. coli is a serious health concern,” the alerts explain. “Fecal coliforms and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children and people with severely compromised immune systems.”

The alerts affect 27,997 residents served by the City of Flowood’s water supply and 188,723 served by the City of Jackson’s water supply, MSDH says.

The guidelines listed below are provided by MSDH:

Checklist for Safe Water Use


  • Do not drink tap water while the water system is under a boil water advisory.
  • Do not drink from water fountains in parks, public or private buildings that receive water from the affected system.
  • Do not use ice unless it has been made with boiled water. Freezing will not necessarily kill harmful bacteria.
  • Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks.


  • Wash your dishes in boiled water or use paper plates for the next few days.
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