When it comes to boil water notices for the city of Jackson, a resident might not realize one is in effect.
That’s especially true if someone fails to hear it mentioned on a news broadcast on television, doesn’t happen to check a local news website, overlooks a post on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and lacks a neighborhood association that sends out the news.
The city of Jackson puts official boil water notices on the city’s website and disseminates them through traditional media and social media. The city’s constituent services often advise businesses and schools about boil water notices and how repairs to the system can affect them.
Anyone can sign up for an email alert about city news on the city’s website, jacksonms.gov.
Even before the city issued its most recent boil water notice on Nov. 15, the Ridgewood Park Neighborhood Association notified its residents that many were experiencing low water pressure, said Ken Wilson, president of the Ridgewood Park Neighborhood Association.
“There were people who hadn’t gotten off work and they would have come home shocked to have no water pressure or low water pressure,” he said.
The association followed up by letting its residents know that the city officially issued a citywide boil water notice on Nov. 15 due to complications at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant. The city had to take the system offline because a batch of chemicals meant to improve the water quality were bad. The city’s other water treatment plant, J.H. Fewell, which had been helping to maintain water pressure to stay above the boil water threshold, fell below that level, making a precautionary boil water notice required.
To ensure that many residents receive news, the association uses the mobile group messaging app GroupMe, a Facebook page, text messages, email and the Ridgewood Park site on Nextdoor.
“In years prior, everyone wasn’t receiving our news and we had to figure out a way to reach everyone,” Wilson said. “We went to several ways to get the news out. Most everyone in the community has a cell phone and can receive text messages.”
The association strives to send out news of boil water notices as soon as possible to help residents make plans should they need to buy bottled water.
“A lot of older residents don’t like to go out after dark and we forward the news as early as possible so if they need bottled water they don’t have to go out late to buy some,” Wilson said. “We try to be proactive if possible.”
Casey Creasey, executive director of the Greater Belhaven Foundation, said she receives emergency alerts about bad weather, possible flooding or high winds from the city of Jackson but does not recall getting one about a boil water notice.
“If I find out before the boil water notice will be lifted, I will put it on the Belhaven and the Belhaven Heights Nextdoor social networking sections,” she said.