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Boil Water Order Temporarily Closes Two Poultry Plants

Five Mississippi counties this year have seen water quality or quantity levels deteriorate to the point where Boil Water orders had to be issued.

In the latest instance in Jones County, spikes in total coliform bacteria levels required a Boil Water alert Sunday. Two poultry processing plants – Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms – shut down for most of Friday, apparently ahead of the formal Boil Water order. Both are located in the City of Laurel, MS, where the Boil Water order affected only six customers located on 9th Street between 11th and 12th Ave.

The Boil Water oder was issued on Sunday. City officials said it is “strongly recommended” that all water be boiled vigorously for one minute before it is consumed. They advised taking the precautions for two days.

Coliforms, including E. coli bacteria, were found at higher levels than allowed, which the city says means there is a problem with the treatment process or the pipes that distribute water.

Wayne Farms resumed operations for its second shift Friday, and Sanderson’s re-start was apparently set for Monday.

Boil Water orders were previously issued for Perry, Jackson, Franklin and Rankin counties. Each alert was issued through the Mississippi Department of Health. When the orders are lifted, Mississippi officials says consumers should flush faucets and run the dishwasher through a couple cycles before using it to wash dishes.

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