A group of Jackson, Mississippi, residents have filed a class action lawsuit against the city, its top officials, and several engineering companies for allegedly neglecting its recurring water quality issues.
Thought to be caused primarily by water pressure issues in the city's pipes, any potential existing issues in Jackson's water were likely exacerbated by the flooding of the Pearl River in July.
Those two problems, the residents argue, culminated in a tragic water crisis this year that has affected some 150,000 people, according to Axios.
Residents are now asking the U.S. District Court from Mississippi's Southern District to force Jackson into repairing the water system and canceling any bills or debts accumulated by residents concerning the unsafe water.
"The City of Jackson's water supply has been neglected for decades, culminating in its complete shutdown in August 2022, leaving over 150,000 residents, 82.5% of whom are Black[,] and over 24% are living in poverty, without access to running water," the lawsuit read.
"These residents lack more than just drinking water, or water for making powdered baby formula, cooking, showering, or laundry," it continued. "During the long period where the city pipes had no water pressure ... residents of Jackson could not flush their toilets for days at a time."
According to the lawsuit, city residents were "poisoned by lead and other contaminants released into Jackson's drinking water" over an extended period where, they claim, the city did not meet federal requirements for water quality.
"Yet, even before the water supply failed, Jackson's water supply was not fit for human consumption due to the high levels of lead and other contaminants," they wrote.
The plaintiffs asserted their claims against Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, former Mayor Tony Yarber, Trilogy Engineering Services LLC, Siemens Corporation, Siemens Industry, Inc., and various officials within the city government.
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