Phillip Young, a local resident from Jackson, Mississippi takes a break while helping local volunteers with the distribution of bottles of water as city of Jackson and areas around are to go without reliable drinking water indefinitely after pumps at the water treatment plant failed, leading to the emergency distribution of bottled water and tanker trucks for 180,000 people, in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S., August 31, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
CNN  — 

Local authorities lifted a boil-water notice Friday in Jackson, Mississippi, a day after health officials ordered residents of Jackson and nearby Flowood to boil water.

On Thursday, the Mississippi State Department of Health issued the boil water order, which resulted in an exchange of tense news releases between the department and JXN Water, the third-party water manager for Jackson. The department attributed the orders to water samples found to contain E. coli.

The orders affected more than 188,000 people in Mississippi’s capital city and nearly 28,000 residents in Flowood, the health department said.

JXN Water, Jackson’s third party water manager, disputed the results of the test samples.

“The six required repeat samples – taken from the sample locations with the positive results reported on January 11, 2024, and the nearest upstream and downstream sample locations – were taken and delivered to the state laboratory on January 11, 2024. The state laboratory notified JXN Water this morning that all six samples were negative – no E-coli was present,” said JXW Water in a news release.

Jackson’s water troubles made national headlines in August 2022 after torrential rains resulted in the failure of the city’s main water treatment facility. The crisis was so bad, the city temporarily ran out of bottled water to give to residents.

The August failure followed years of problems with the water system and as the city was already under a boil water notice since late July for what the state called a water-quality issue.

“I still do not understand why the Mississippi Department of Health issued the city-wide boil water notice before confirming the initial results,” Ted Henifin, the interim manager of JXN Water said in a news release. “The damage to confidence in our water system and economic impact to our area businesses is enormous.”

Water is seen running from a faucet as a youngster washes her hand while the city of Jackson, Mississippi is to be without reliable drinking water indefinitely after the water treatment plant pumps failed, leading to the emergency distribution of bottled water and tanker trucks for 180,000 people, in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S., September 2, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The state health agency defended its decision for the boil water order on Friday, stating in a news release, “In spite of the allegations made by the City of Jackson Water Supply, the Mississippi State Department of Health stands behind the initial test results that indicated the presence of E. coli in the City of Jackson’s surface water. Upon review, all evidence supports that these test results were true positives.”

There have been 29 instances of E. coli in Jackson’s water system and three instances in Flowood’s water system since 2003, the state health department release said.

Samples from Flowood are currently undergoing analysis, according to the department.

JXN Water said it is required to take monthly samples from 120 sampling locations across the city’s surface water system, testing them for bacteria.

Jacobs Solutions is the contractor taking the samples, of behalf of JXN, CNN affiliate WAPT reported.

Jackson residents and activists have blamed their city’s ongoing clean water issues on years of systemic neglect, with some accusing the state of ignoring calls for upgrading the city’s water system.

The water woes in the predominantly Black capital city mirror those in Flint, Michigan, where residents have struggled with water problems – including a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, lead contamination and aging pipes – for the past decade.

CNN’s Amanda Jackson, Meridith Edwards, Sara Sidner and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.