Local restaurants struggle with mounting costs during latest citywide boil water notice

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 7:55 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Day four of the citywide boil water notice finds restaurants still scrambling to meet health department requirements and the needs of customers. The repeated drinking water mandates come at a mounting cost to those in the food service industry.

Babalu’s general manager is keeping things flowing smoothly following a hectic weekend under the city’s most recent boil water notice.

“We taking good care of you guys today,” asked Heather Graves as she moved from table to table.

The new general manager and manager are experiencing their first citywide boil water notice. This means learning a new routine of running a restaurant under health department mandates.

“We had the big Pride Parade on Saturday, which they shut down Duling Avenue for,” said Graves. “So in the midst of all that, we’re having to try to figure out ways to get out of here with the road being closed to go get ice and get sodas and water.”

The supplies have cost the restaurant up to $800.00 since Friday. Another truckload could be on the way before the notice is lifted.

“All hands are on deck,” said Jackson Public Works Director Marlin King.

This is also his first citywide water alert since taking the post last September. The department leader said he is in constant communication with contractors replacing a series of damaged valves at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.

“It’s not as if you just fix, that you can easily identify them. You have to work through them sequentially,” said King. “So if you work through one and it works, then you move on to two. So you have to fix them in that regard.”

Public works crews are also monitoring tanks and increasing water levels where needed.

“It’s a struggle that I guess going forward we need to somewhat plan for, but we shouldn’t have to plan for it,” added Graves.

Jackson’s Public Works Director estimates the citywide boil water notice may be lifted late Wednesday or early Thursday.

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