State and city leaders tout improvements at OB Curtis water treatment plant

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – City and state leaders are touting a number of improvements to Jackson’s main water treatment facility.

On Friday, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced that crews had “completed work on the newly installed Raw Water Pump 4,” which will allow the facility to produce an additional 8 million gallons per day. .

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency thanked EMAC crews for their efforts to clean filters on the conventional processing side of the plant.

The agency said the upgrades “increased the efficiency and effectiveness of the filter, resulting in improved control and water-generating capacity.”

Curtis treats the water by a conventional method and a membrane filtration method. On the conventional side, water is pumped into large basins and left to settle. From there, it is chemically treated before being routed to the clear well and into the city’s water distribution system.

On the membrane side, water is brought in from Barnett Reservoir, diverted past the conventional basin, and pushed through membrane filters.

The news comes more than three weeks after Governor Tate Reeves announced the state would resume operations at the Curtis plant after equipment failures left tens of thousands of people there in Jackson, Byram and Hinds. County without water.

With the addition of water, the pressure in the system also increases. According to a city press release, the plant has “recovered to a steady 90 PSI pressure,” even after a major water leak caused problems in the past 24 hours.

The city attributes the plant’s salvage capacity to the return to service of raw water pump No. 4. “That kind of ability to increase production through challenges is the redundancy the team has been working toward. “, reads the press release.

Repairs are underway at the plant, largely thanks to the efforts of the teams mobilized within the framework of an Emergency Management Assistance Compact. Crews are not only helping with repairs, but supplementing staffing shortages at Curtis and JH Fewell facilities.

On-site teams come from New York, South Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and Maryland. Personnel include water operators, electricians, mechanics, instrument technicians and maintenance personnel. The Mississippi Rural Water Association is also contributing to this effort.

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