After E. coli was discovered in samples, the state of Mississippi issued boil-water notices to residents.

Jackson, Mississippi — Local authorities in Jackson and Flowood want to contest the results of the Mississippi State Department of Health's water contamination test, which led to a Thursday boil-water alert.

Jackson, Byram, and Flowood—home to around 169,000 people—are all impacted by the injunction. A press statement states that JXN Water, the third-party water management for Jackson, feels the state's notification is incorrect and intends to contest the state's laboratory findings.

State health officials stated in a news release that they do not believe the samples were contaminated while in the lab and that the results are not false positives.

The website of the state health department states that all water should be "boiled vigorously for 1 minute before it is consumed," as per the recommendation of health professionals. Officials from the water system will be informed when the boil-water advice is rescinded, and the precaution will remain in effect for at least two days, according to the statement.

In the ongoing water crisis in Jackson, Thursday's warning is the most recent development. One hundred fifty thousand people were without access to potable water for several weeks in August 2022 due to problems with the city's water system.

Water problems in the city brought to light long-standing infrastructural problems, which analysts attribute to the underinvestment in minority neighborhoods. A boil-water order was issued in late July 2022, and inhabitants of Jackson had long been plagued by water supply troubles, including worries about lead and a cold wave that cut off water to many.

Interim water manager Ted Henifin of Jackson cast doubt on the state's findings during a press conference on Thursday. The presence of E. coli germs in two separate water systems raised red flags, he added, and the high chlorine content of the water would have killed the bacteria anyhow.

The occurrence of a system producing positive findings for E. coli is rather rare. The simultaneous analysis of two positive results from separate water systems on the same day raises serious suspicions, according to Henifin.

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