Mississippi capital to hire emergency water plant workers

Nov 10, 2022, 6:12 PM | Updated: 6:57 pm
FILE - This is an aerial view of of the City of Jackson's O.B. Curtis Water Plant in Ridgeland, Mis...

FILE - This is an aerial view of of the City of Jackson's O.B. Curtis Water Plant in Ridgeland, Miss., on Sept. 1, 2022. Local officials in Mississippi's capital city, where a late summer water crisis upended life for 150,00 people, approved an emergency plan Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, to increase staffing at the city's two water treatment plants. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

JACKSON, Miss (AP) — Local officials in Mississippi’s capital city, where a late summer water crisis upended life for 150,00 people, have approved an emergency plan to increase staffing at the city’s two water treatment plants.

Jackson city council members voted Thursday to hire contract workers from a Los Angeles-based company to staff the O.B. Curtis and J.H. Fewell water treatment plants, tanks and well facilities. Under the agreement, WaterTalent LLC will provide the city with four skilled water operators to help beef up paltry staffing at the two treatment facilities.

Jackson currently has two operators licensed at the Class A level, who have a degree of technical expertise that can take years to acquire. City leaders said that the two operators have been working more than 80 hours a week to produce clean water at the plants.

“We’re still relying on the same operators who are working long, long, long hours and long shifts,” said Ted Henifin, a consultant working with the city council. “So, we identified this company, and they recruit these folks and have them on standby, essentially licensed operators, that are willing to deploy for some emergency periods, and we’ve gotten a proposal from them.”

The workers will be paid around $40 per hour. The agreement will be in place until the city hires a long-term contractor, WLBT-TV reported. The new operators will report to Jackson on Sunday, November 13.

Jackson’s water system has been beset by problems for decades, but the latest troubles began in late August after heavy rainfall exacerbated problems at the O.B. Curtis plant, leaving many customers without running water. State and federal officials surged resources to the area after emergency orders were declared by Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves and President Joe Biden.

Reeves said the state of emergency he declared on Aug. 30 would remain in place until Nov. 22. City officials are attempting to reach an agreement with a private firm to operate Jackson’s water system over the long term. Until then, extra staffing will ease the burden on city workers, local officials said.

“The big piece of this is it also allows (operators) not to have to work 70 to 80 hours a week,” Henifin said. “They’re actually going to get some of their life back, which I think they would all like at this point in time.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A crime scene is taped off at New Season Church in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. Me...
Associated Press

Drive-by shooting injures 2 at funeral at Nashville church

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A drive-by shooting in Nashville on Saturday injured two people as they and others were walking out of church from the funeral of a woman who was fatally shot earlier this month, according to police. Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said the afternoon shooting occurred outside New Season Church, […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah, is pictured on Sept. 15, 2015. A woman died and a ...
Associated Press

Woman dies on hike in Utah’s Zion Park, husband rescued

A woman died and a man was rescued after they were caught in extreme cold weather while hiking in Utah's Zion National Park.
19 hours ago
FILE - Nick Fuentes, far-right activist, holds a rally at the Lansing Capitol, in Lansing, Mich., N...
Associated Press

Trump faulted for dinner with white nationalist, rapper Ye

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is renewing attention to his long history of turning a blind eye to bigotry after dining with a Holocaust-denying white nationalist and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West just days into his third campaign for the White House. Trump had dinner Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago club […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

12-year-old dies in Russian Roulette; murder charges brought

A 12-year-old boy is dead after playing Russian Roulette with peers in Jackson, Mississippi, police say. Jackson’s Deputy Police Chief Deric Hearn identified the boy as Markell Noah, according to reports by Mississippi-based WLBT-TV. Following the death officers arrested two juveniles and one adult Friday. Police say the two juveniles are being charged with murder […]
19 hours ago
President Joe Biden visits a shop in Nantucket, Mass., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Wal...
Associated Press

Biden, family hit Nantucket stores for some holiday shopping

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — President Joe Biden went holiday shopping on the Massachusetts resort island where he spends Thanksgiving, patronizing smaller independently owned stores on what the retail industry has called “Small Business Saturday.” Biden, his wife, Jill, and daughter Ashley went from store to store on Main Street in downtown Nantucket, lingering at Polo […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Rugby star and ALS campaigner Doddie Weir dies at 52

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Doddie Weir, a former Scotland rugby player whose diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease led to a widely praised campaign for more research into ALS, has died at the age of 52. The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) announced Weir’s death on Saturday. The lock played 61 times for Scotland and was famed […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Mississippi capital to hire emergency water plant workers