Jackson, Mississippi is still dealing with the ramifications of a long-lingering breakdown in water treatment infrastructure. Yesterday, the city restored water pressure to normal levels, but a boil-water advisory is still in effect. Now, Baltimore, Maryland, a city with a 62 percent Black population, is trying to fight through their own water troubles. As ABC News notes, E. coli samples were found in some areas of West Baltimore, and a boil advisory was sent to more than 1,500 people.
“We are taking this issue seriously,” Mayor Scott said. “This is why we are here with a full operation of our Emergency Operations Center. We understand the concerns of residents deeply, and we want to assure them that their health and well-being are our first priority.”
Baltimore officials are continuing to investigate the cause of the contamination. Director of the Department of Public Works Jason Mitchell stated that construction sites are currently being looked at as a source of the problem. Distribution systems, treatment systems, and pumping facilities are also being checked for signs of leaks.
“We are identifying construction sites that may have caused potential impacts to our water system,” Mitchell said. “We are performing leak detection in the area as well. We are performing live checks and checking chlorine levels, as well.”
There are some questions regarding when the Mayor found out about the contamination. As The Baltimore Banner notes, testing confirmed the contamination on Friday. But Mayor Scott said Monday that the city was first made aware of the problem on Saturday.
Scott’s spokesperson Monica Lewis says the mayor regrets not telling the public sooner, according to Fox WBFF, because they were waiting for a second test to confirm the contamination. However, the fire department was notified on Sunday. The boil advisory will remain until the water is fixed, and 1,700 gallons of water were handed out on Monday.