Houston issues boil water advisory and cancels school on Monday
Houston, Texas issued a boil water advisory Sunday night for more than 2.2 million people after a power outage at three water treatment facilities Sunday morning. Houston residents should boil all water used for drinking, bathing or even just brushing their teeth for at least three minutes, according to a Tweeter sent by the City of Houston just before 7:30 p.m. local time, 8:30 p.m. ET.
Houston residents are encouraged not to use chilled water that runs through the pipes of household refrigerators. The city also notes that residents should stay away from ice cubes created in automatic ice machines.
Regulators are collecting water samples, which take about 18 hours to process, meaning the boil water advisory will likely be lifted early Tuesday if everything looks safe. As the Houston Chronicle notes, Houston has seen two more boil advisories in the past two years – during winter storm Uri in February. 2021 and after an aqueduct rupture in February. 2020.
The power outage occurred around 10:30 a.m. local time, according to the Texas Grandstand, causing water pressure to drop below levels considered safe by health regulators. Low water pressure can cause the system to reverse, allowing potential contaminants to enter the drinking water supply, though city water officials don’t believe this has happened.
“The reason we are issuing the boil water advisory is a regulatory requirement. Our system kept the pressure on. We never completely lost the pressure, so there was never an opportunity for anything to enter our system. They just fell below regulatory requirements,” Houston Water Manager Yvonne Williams Forrest told the local news channel. KHU.
Even though Houston water officials don’t seem overly concerned, the public school district has canceled all classes for Monday. School offices will also be closed.
“Due to the boil water advisory issued by the City of Houston late tonight, all Houston ISD schools, offices and facilities will be closed on Monday, November 28, 2022. #HISD will be watching closely the situation and will provide further updates regarding operations. tomorrow,” the school district said in a Tweeter.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive Sunday evening to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to use the resources necessary to ensure Houston water was safe to use.
“The State of Texas is immediately responding and deploying support to Houston as it works to bring a safe supply of water back online,” Governor Abbott said in a statement released to him. website.
“We have been in contact with Mayor Turner to offer the state’s full support, and we are currently working to meet the city’s request for assistance with prompt processing of water sample results. I thank TDEM and TCEQ for responding quickly to help resolve this issue. We urge those affected by the boil water advisory to continue to follow the advice of local authorities and take proper precautions when boiling and using water. Together, we will ensure that our fellow Texans are supported as the city’s water supply returns.