Wednesday, February 16, 2022
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's capital city is installing new meters to try to correct one problem with its water system.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said Monday that residents may see Utility Metering Solutions employees in their neighborhoods for the installation, WAPT-TV reported.
The new water meters will replace the ones installed under a contract with Siemens Industry Inc. Jackson hired Siemens under a $90 million contract in 2012 for installation of new water meters, a new billing system and infrastructure work. But some customers were billed too little or too much, and some did not receive bills for long periods of time. Some water meters failed.
The city sued Siemens in 2019, and officials announced in 2020 that the company had agreed to a $90 million settlement.
Lumumba said officials are hoping that installing new water meters will help fix the city's financial problems caused by unpaid water bills.
Jackson has longstanding problems with its aging water system, and the EPA issued a notice in late January that the system violates the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The order directed the city to outline a plan to “correct the significant deficiencies identified” in an EPA report within 45 days.
During a cold snap in February 2021, equipment froze in a Jackson water treatment plant. For weeks, tens of thousands of people were left with no running water or water pressure that was dangerously low.