The City of Jackson, Miss., is not shutting off its water despite a raft of misinformation on social media that has driven panicked water usage amid a deep cold snap.
JXN Water spokesperson Ameerah Palacios dispelled the rumors in a press statement late Wednesday night.
“JXN Water plants are operating to provide Water for All. All the Time. That has not changed. We are not shutting the plants down tonight and we haven’t shut any water off. There are no widespread issues,” Palacios said.
But residents are reporting that the panic usage as people fill tubs with water in anticipation of a shutoff has already resulted in pressure issues in some parts of Jackson—especially in the south and west sections of the city furthest from the water plants. Those issues should abate once the misinformation-fueled panic does.
Across Facebook, posts warning that “water will be shut off tonight” spread rapidly on Wednesday with no sourcing. One reader noted that the misinformation may have begun after Jackson, Ky.—a tiny municipality of around 2,000 in the Bluegrass State’s Breathitt County—announced earlier today that it would have to shut its water off for six to eight hours to perform repairs.
This Jan. 17, 2024, advisory for a water shutoff is from Jackson, Ky., not Jackson, Miss. Via Facebook
In Jackson, Miss., both the O.B. Curtis and J.H. Fewell water treatment plants are producing roughly 60 million gallons of water a day to address the intense added usage of the cold water, with many residents dripping their faucets and filling their tubs in case of an outage.
Additionally, although JXN Water reports immense progress on the water plants that were the most immediate cause of the weekslong outages in 2021 and 2023, Jackson’s beleaguered distribution system remains the foremost challenge for maintaining consistent water pressure across the city.
“Deliberate misinformation is being spread tonight to try to increase demand in the system and create pressure issues that impact your water service,” Palacios warned tonight.
JXN Water Interim Third-Party Manager Ted Henifin said on Jan. 12, 2024. Photo by Nick Judin
At a Friday press
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