A notice regarding boil water was issued by the Houston Mayor due to a power outage in multiple water treatment plans. The notice was issued on Sunday when a number of water treatment plants faced power loss.
The public is advised to boil water before using it for drinking, cooking as well for brushing teeth, and bathing. It is instructed to boil the water for a minimum of two minutes and to let it cool before using it. People with no access to power are to use bottled water. Ice from automated ice machines and chilled water from the refrigerator is also to be avoided.
The water system of the Houston Public Works, according to their statistical reports, serves 2.2 million customers. Erin Jones, the spokesperson of Houston Public Works is looking forward to the lifting of the order while continuing to ensure that no new crisis would be arising.
Sylvester Turner, the Mayor of Houston said that the restriction would be lifted within Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Houston Public Works stated in a press release that this was due to the dropping of the water pressure. It was detailed that the dropage went below 20 PSI, which is the required minimum of the Texas Commission on Environment Quality. This was due to the power outage at the East Water Purification Plant.
The dropping of the water pressure below the mandatory levels could be hazardous to the health and welfare of society. A decreased water pressure can result in the water flowing in the opposite direction which would cause the allowing of contaminants to enter drinking water.
In light of the press release, it could be understood that the water pressure got restored to all consumers on Sunday itself, within a short time of the power outage.
The Mayor said that the city considers the water to be safe, yet the boil water notice was issued to satisfy the mandatory regulations.
Turner took it to Twitter by tweeting that water samples would be subsequently followed and hopefully, they would be getting the “all clear” from the TCEQ. His early morning tweet went on that the city would have 24 hours from that point before suspending the boil water notice. He continued that the order would be lifted by Monday night or by the early morning of Tuesday.
The public would be notified by the officials when the water becomes safe again to be consumed without the need to boil it. In relation to this crisis, the schools, offices, and facilities in the Houston Independent School District would be closed.
Gregg Abbott, the governor of Texas, on Sunday stated that he would be giving directions to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas Division of Emergency Management to make available urgent resources to aid water problems in Houston. He continued that three separate water treatment plans had lost power.
Governor Abbott said that the Texas state is immediately responding and deploying support to Houston as they work to get a safe supply of water back online. He further said that they have been in contact with Mayor Turner to offer the full support of the state, and they are currently working to fulfill the city’s appeal for help with the unexpected setback in the water sample results.
He expressed his gratitude to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for their swift response which enabled the addressing of the issue.
He went on that he, being a part of the government, is urging the affected people by the boil water notice to continue heeding the guidance of local officials and take adequate precautions when boiling and using water. And that, together they would ensure the people of Texas are supported while the city’s water supply returns.
Yvonne Williams Forrest, the Director of Houston Water, said that their system has never fully lost the pressure. And that therefore there was never an opportunity for anything to enter the water system before.
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