Justice Department intervenes for struggling water system

Jackson
Clouds are reflected off the City of Jackson's O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Facility's sedimentation basins in Ridgeland, Miss., Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS and MICHAEL GOLDBERG
Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Justice Department is making a rare intervention to try to bring improvements in the beleaguered water system in the Mississippi capital city.

The Jackson system nearly collapsed in late summer and continues to struggle.

The department filed a proposal Tuesday to appoint a third-party manager for the system.

That is meant to be an interim measure while the federal government, the city of Jackson and the Mississippi State Department of Health try to negotiate a judicially enforceable consent decree to achieve long-term sustainability of the system and the city’s compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and other relevant laws.