News Briefs: Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor Requests Emergency Funding Amid Water Crisis

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, a bill in support of direct potable reuse in Florida is making progress at the committee level

Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba wrote a letter to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves in early March to request around $47 million in emergency funding for the state to deal with its ongoing water crisis related to the recent winter storms.

Lumumba asks for state and federal funding for a number of infrastructure projects in the letter, titled “An Urgent Request for Assistance.”

“As you are aware, the extreme weather conditions that occurred severely compromised our ability to produce and distribute water at our (water treatment plants), depriving residents and businesses of water,” Lumumba writes, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Florida Bill Promotes Direct Potable Reuse Projects

A bill in support of direct potable reuse in Florida is making its way through committees, including recently getting a 17-0 vote of approval from the Environmental, Agriculture and Flooding Subcommittee.

If the bill is passed into law, it would require certain wastewater utilities to submit, implement and update plans to eliminate nonbeneficial surface water discharges and work instead to make that water safe to drink.

For the details about the bill, sponsored by Rep. Randy Maggard, click here.

EPA Announces $727 Million Loan to Portland Water Bureau

At a virtual event with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other dignitaries, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its largest Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan to date — a $727 million loan to the Portland Water Bureau in Portland, Oregon.

The loan will help finance the Bull Run Treatment Program to improve drinking water quality and reliability for nearly 1 million people by better controlling contaminants and lead while bolstering the system’s climate resiliency.

The City of Portland’s Bull Run Treatment Program will construct a new filtration water treatment plant to remove the microorganism Cryptosporidium and other potential contaminants and water pipelines to connect the filtration facility to existing conduits. In addition, it will implement improved corrosion control treatment to further adjust the chemistry of Portland’s water and reduce potential levels of lead at the tap.


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