Home / Environmental News / Flint Was the Tip of the Iceberg — Mississippi Tap Water is Toxic — Govt Warns Not to Use It

Flint Was the Tip of the Iceberg — Mississippi Tap Water is Toxic — Govt Warns Not to Use It


Jackson, MS – With residents at risk from lead poisoning, state officials recently released a public statement warning pregnant women and young children to avoid drinking, bathing, or cooking with city tap water. Although the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) had tested homes back in June 2015, Jackson residents did not receive any notice until this week.

While testing homes for lead exposure in June 2015, the MSDH discovered 22 percent had tested positive for lead above the recommended level. At least 13 residences had lead levels as high as 128 parts per billion (ppb), or more than eight times the federal action level of 15 ppb. Instead of immediately analyzing the results or informing city officials in Jackson, the MSDH waited until January to retest the homes.

“Nobody flagged it,” Health Department spokeswoman Liz Sharlot told NBC News.

Last month, another 100 residences, including the 13 that initially tested positive for actionable levels of lead exposure, were tested. Although the MSDH found that 11 percent of the homes were still exposed to actionable levels, the agency decided to release a statement this week urging pregnant women and children under the age of six to stop using the city’s tap water.

While advising pregnant women and young children to begin using filtered or bottled water, the MSDH warned households to never use hot tap water for drinking or cooking. Although the city of Flint had issued several boil advisories to kill the bacteria in their drinking water, the CDC found that heating or boiling water only increases the lead concentration. Besides recommending the use of baby formula with only bottled or filtered water, the MSDH also advised parents with children under the age of six to contact their child’s pediatrician or primary care provider to ensure adequate lead screening and blood testing.

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In addition to the MSDH’s public statement this week, the Jackson Water System will mail a health notice to customers along with their water bills this month. Although Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber declared a state of emergency for the city’s infrastructure, including the city’s corrosive water system, nearly a year ago, no steps have been taken to conduct further studies or remove the unsafe levels of lead from the water.

“This conversation is a national one that Jackson, Mississippi, is right in the middle of, specifically as it relates to what’s happening with urban centers,” Yarber stated. “The issues that we’re talking about today are happening in more frequency in areas that are urban, in areas where there’s been disinvestment, in areas where there’s been flight, in a lot of cases, and in areas where the particular city is blue in the middle of a red state. We really need to look at the politics that are affecting our ability to make safety a priority for our citizens.”

Unlike city officials in Flint, Michigan, Yarber asserted he was unaware of the contaminated water until the MSDH informed his office last month. Despite the fact that Michigan state officials knew the water supply had been exposed to lead poisoning, the government repeatedly lied to the public regarding the water’s safety. Through a FOIA request, a series of emails released last month revealed that Flint officials knew about the poisoned water and began purchasing clean water solely for themselves.

Even though Flint city officials knew the water supply was poisoned, nearly 100,000 residents along with hundreds of inmates at Genesee County Jail were forced to drink, shower, and eat food cooked in contaminated water for nearly two years. Because the Genesee County Sheriff falsely claimed the water was safe, numerous incarcerated pregnant women inadvertently exposed their unborn children to lead poisoning and other detrimental toxins.

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It’s no secret that our drinking water has been exposed to a wide variety of contaminants for decades. As the pipes supplying our water continue to corrode, more children and pregnant women will be at risk of unsafe levels of chemical exposure throughout every major city in the country. Although Jackson city officials have swor not to make the same mistakes as Flint, the MSHD waited six months before taking any action.

In the immortal words of the late, great comedian George Carlin, “I ask that question everywhere I go. Everywhere I go, I say, ‘How’s the water?’

“Haven’t gotten a positive answer yet. Not one! Last year, I was in 40 states, 100 cities, not one audience was able to say to me, ‘Yes! Enjoy some of our fine local water. It is pure and it is good.’

“Of course I know a lot of people don’t talk that way anymore, but nobody trusts the local water supply. Nobody!”

Andrew Emett is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew’s work has appeared on Raw Story, Alternet, Activist Post, and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewEmett and on Facebook at Andrew Emett.

  • This explains the high rate of stupidity across the Nation!

    • Its not will we realise, its “will they realise “the indians were talking abt the white man

    • Agreed … But If you look beyond the image and “we” are still part of the human race. The “white man” is not the only ethnic group doing this… The message could have simply been written using a few different words and removed the picture but the context of the message remains the same … We are consuming endlessly until we will consume all natural resources on the planet and be left with nothing but our own filth to die in with endless piles of useless material wealth to surround us.

  • government lies.

  • Because the EPA is much more concerned with so-called climate change and taking land away from farmers who might use it to (gasp) farm to worry about silly things like the quality of our drinking water.

  • So glad I bought Nestle stocks.

    • Hell ya. You support that slave labor and company that believes water isn’t a right.

    • I really hope that was sarcasm (Thomas).

    • Sarcasm. Read up on Michigan wanting to privatize the Detroit Water Dept.

  • Don’t forget Sacramento!

    • Since you are closer to home for me than most others posting their cities….ill try to beg of you for understanding if you have it. What do we do? Really? This is by far not okay. I’m truly wondering what can we do as citizens of this area to help and make this recognized, and fight to change it?
      With so many things wrong these days, it’s hard to know where to start to fix things. But this should be a no tolerance issue for people. It’s water. It’s essential. No questions. Other than what can we do?

    • What people naturally do – move. A municipal failure or two can be rationalized away or papered over. Dozens of failures cannot. The great conflict of our time, locally, nationally and internationally is the conflict between the public and private sector – not the 1% vs. the 99%.

  • Roy T Bowman

  • I really think that cities big and small all over this country need to test their water quality and delivery systems now. This is a red flag alert and the testing results must be made public. The water in my Bandon OR home smells and tastes bad. I don’t know where to turn. My landlord will just tell me to leave if I make any attempts on my own. Clean water is a vital necessity.

    • You need to get a really good water test, Oregon law states directly you may not in fact owe any rent if a basic utility such as water power or sewer becomes unavailable or broken until landlord takes reasonable corrective measures. Find a lawyer ASAP

  • Why is anyone surprised? Seriously lol. The majority of the infrastructure (including water pipes) haven’t been maintained in over 80 years.

  • It’s from Fracking… Fricking Corpret GREED putting Profit before Public Health. Tha IS TERRORISM of the Eco-Type. It is time to put an END to it. This REALLY PISS’S ME OFF.

    • I’m on board with you buddy. You also have to keep in mind of all the pollutants in the water that is being contaminated by agriculture and farm factory’s made by corperate. Man the things I’ve seen get dumped in massive amounts for days and years long as waist In creeks and or streams that flow right into the public drinking water is horrifying.

  • Just think. When we become a socialist country our drinking water will be the best in the world!!!!

  • The water in Vernon, Texas is so high in nitrates that pregnant women and babies cannot drink it. Doctors write prescriptions to them so they can get bottled water for free. It’s been this way since before I was pregnant with my first almost 27 years ago. We also have a higher rate of people dying early with heart disease which I believe is from the nitrates. They’ve known this for 30 years and yet do nothing about it.

    • You are right Sheila, we are not “JUST FINDING THIS OUT”. . This has been an ongoing problem for many years.

    • Awful

    • You have to get together and do it yourself…. you are people, most valuable people…?

  • Don’t you just love living in a city and being at their mercy for your water supply?

  • This is ALLOWED to occur

  • Corey, this sucks lol. So close to you. I’ll end up boiling all of the water or just making beer like the Mayflower hahahaa.

    • Be careful boiling the water. Do some research. I read something somewhere about some water that boiling it made it worse. Sorry that I don’t remember more than that. I just remember that it was really bad. Made a certain mineral or chemical worse.

    • Lol really? That’s crazy! I thought the heat would kill whatever is toxic to us?

    • Idk water is nasty down south it real is especially here in Louisiana

    • That’s awful I mostly drink water ?? haha.

    • That’s why we buy bottle water lol or a filter for the faucet

    • Do filters get lead out too? Lol.

    • Idk lol but hey they do sell bottle water here lol

    • Yeah, but that’s just bottled tap water anyways lol. &it creates a demand for more plastic products.

    • Well what if we get recycled blastic bottled water?

    • I’ll find a fresh spring lol. I know where a few are by me so I’m sure I can find some by you 🙂

    • Maybe gl to you while I’m at work your going to hunting down water 🙂

    • Lol it’ll be valuable.

    • Your cute baby 🙂

    • Just trying to keep us around to enjoy what this world has to offer 🙂 I.e. enjoying as much time as I can with you ??

  • All them well intended tax dollars building infrastructure & creating jobs.. coming to a city near you!

  • and American morons will keep voting in zionist nazi puppets who sell them out and milk them to fund American terrorism.

    • Do you really still think Americans have a choice in who takes office? That’s the Electoral College that does all that “for us”. ?

    • Joshua Falken I should be clearer…..not all Americans are morons, just the ones who ‘vote’ for Hitlery Clinton etc. Zionist puppets, same as here in the UK

  • Kind of makes you wonder if there’s a correlation between corporations wanting to own water resources and the failing water infrastructure.

    • funny how they have the resources to add fluoride but not to clean it. hitler put it in camp water to dumb down the inmates and make them docile

  • “Why are we just now learning of this?”
    Oh, I Donno… Perhaps because we’re living in a state or tyranny the likes of which our planet has never seen?
    I can almost read the tomb stone…
    Here lies the United States of America
    Cause of death:

  • Food and drink is poisoned. We are poisoned by pharma. We are being poisoned in the air and water.
    Now they are saying we are terrorists for knowing what the real terrorists are up to.
    At what point do we demand change?

  • Richland WA

  • Its not new and its not from fracking, its from the chemicals they put in the water that comes into our homes to clean it up as much as possible because it is being reused and recleaned before coming through again. At least it is here in Phoenix, AZ. Our water comes from three sources but is also being reclaimed. http://www.azwater.gov/AzDWR/PublicInformationOfficer/documents/supplydemand.pdf

  • Hey, even Tyler Texas has been in the news about our water!

  • Big time for Nestlé selling more bottled water. Coincidence?

  • They can’t fix the water but they have money for war

  • Why is the media just discovering this? Here in PA, we have HAD water much worse than Flint. Why haven’t we been all over the news?????????

  • it is happening they are commin for our water next by’s

  • Butbutbut government is supposed to protect us from this, not force it on us! Butbutbut we need more regulations! We need more alphabet agencies! We need more of the exact same thing that led us to this! (sarcasm, obviously, but it’s actually pretty damned close to the way some special little snowflakes think)

  • The city of Altamont, Illinois built the city’s reservoir on an old dump and now it’s cancer capital of Illinois. It’s been flunking EPA tests for Cancer causing chemicals for at least 25 years.

  • Anybody still have ANY faith in government ?!?

  • Well, we just need some more Free Trade, eh?

    Remember when tap water was safe?

    Wake Up. It’s time to stop the insanity of off-shoring our jobs and poisoning our water. FK the wealthy Elite.


  • Just another crumb in the USA’s crumbling infrastructure.

  • John and Linda Robel


  • Why do they want Mississippi land? Swampland? Minerals? What’s up?

  • Yes the government is doing such a great job with water let’s go ahead and put them in charge of healthcare –

  • You do know that the Bush family is investing heavily in water assets around the globe??

    Not much for conspiracies but if I was I’d be asking questions….transitioning from oil to water just as oil demand drops off and CSG leaches toxins into the drinking supply. Net result, increased demand for bottled water….just saying!!

    • Good point there. I do believe it’s not a mere coincidence -.-

  • Buy the best gravity fed water filters at Infowarsstore.com

  • So much for the “Superior Water Supply” signs.

  • How about all the toxic water Native Indians endure everyday

  • They took their planned parenthoods away and now they poison their water and kindly advice themto purchase bottled water. This is conservative law making at its ugliest. #poormississippi

  • 35 yrs of GOP defunding, deregulating, RWNJ influenced regulators and corporate money influence.

  • I havnt drank the water in my city for some time now it tastes bleachy and appears cloudy if i dont purify it i drink bottled water. I live in the city so not sure the cause but better safe than sorry

  • Water utilities are out of sight…out of mind. Local and city government is responsible. Who else should highlight the problem ?

  • Donald Ruffin

  • “gov’t warns not to use it.” since when did they care about their people?

  • Only time people will get off their asses is when food and water is gone instead of doing it from the very beginning so many people warned of this but people get comfy with the government ruling and treatment of people and now here’s the result its not gonna stop there either

  • Clearly it’s God’s punishment for allowing same sex marriage…

  • Thrusting authorities….. think.. questening everything……follow the money…

  • POISONED..to get people to buy water and make someone a millionaire selling them the same water…lol

  • Naomi Hall Hayes

    • Thanks…it’s a damn shame that in 2016, this is happening….city and county greed. And these people are of the human race…public health should be everyone’s concern

    • We don’t have to fear ISIS. Our own city and county governments are going to wipe us out

    • Exactly! !

  • The poisoning of our country has begun to make water a much more rare resource. It’s another way for them to steal money right out of our back pockets by charging us for something that used to be free

  • It’s all a plan to privitize all the water supplies under Nestle and others.

  • Water makes you gay stick to alcohol.

  • $$$$

  • And folks still HAVE to pay for it?!

  • Sounds like Nestle is behind all the water poisonings.

  • ,Does that follow the new Madrid fault

  • Depopulation in progress…. please stand by.


  • Why aren’t you guys marching towards D.C. This is your water supply. They are slowly trying to kill you. Don’t you see that ?

  • It’s been part of a plan for a long time! Wait until they start forcing vaccines, flu shot’s, n inoculations. you know how many of us r dying from heavy metal poisoning, not to mention Monsanto’s ultimate plan, educate yourselves on history n, you’ll better understand the future they have set into motion for us.

  • Wormwood

  • I really want to know, what do we do? How does this change begin? What do we say and to whom? What are some legitimate demands we can make? What is the process here?!???

  • Wonder how these places are in proximity to fracking sights….hmmmmm.