A water tank is placed outside of Merit Health Central in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, August 30, 2022. Credit: Eric Shelton/Mississippi Today

Most hospitals in Jackson are on their own water systems and mostly unaffected by the city’s water crisis — except for one.

The 319-bed facility Merit Health Central in south Jackson is currently operating with water tankers as a result of the crisis.

“I will say, we have been in this predicament quite frequently, so we do have processes, policies and methodologies in place that keeps us able to do what we need to do,” said Jana Fuss, director of marketing at the hospital.

Fuss said although the hospital has been able to continue services uninterrupted through the current water crisis, it comes at a “significant financial cost, and additional resources are required to keep the onsite water tanks full.”

The hospital has been using water from tankers since July 28, when a state-issued boil water notice went into effect.

She continued: “It is the hospital’s desire that the city will take quick action to identify the necessary solutions that will permanently resolve the water supply issues for our community.”

Hospital officials said the fire suppression system is “fine.”

The University of Mississippi Medical Center announced Monday its ability to fight fires is compromised because of the low water pressure.

Both St. Dominic Hospital and Mississippi Baptist Medical Center operate on their own systems, and patient care in the hospitals has not been affected, hospital representatives told Mississippi Today.

St. Dominic’s emergency response team was concerned about the impact of the water emergency to outpatient dialysis patients, but so far, the hospital has not seen an increase in people needing that care, according to Meredith Bailess, senior director of marketing and communications for the hospital.

Its fire suppression system remains in operation, she said.

Several other St. Dominic locations, such as its buildings on North Frontage Road off of I-55 and some clinic locations, are supplied by Jackson water.

Bailess said they are closely monitoring water pressure in these buildings and have thus far been able to continue operations.

Officials with Baptist say their clinics have been operating on the boil water notice for more than 30 days with “minimal impact” to patient care.


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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.