Houston lifts boil water advisory and confirms tap water is safe to drink

Houston lifted its boil water advisory, two days after a power outage affecting one of the city’s water purification plants raised concerns about potentially lingering contaminants in the water supply. main water. The Texas Environmental Quality Commission conducted water quality testing while the advisory was still in effect and confirmed tap water meets regulatory standards, the city of Houston said. in a press release. Press release.

“Houston Water has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption,” the city said.

Before returning to normal use, Houston Water customers should first “flush” their home water systems by running faucets cold for at least one minute, and making and discarding several batches of ice from their automatic ice machines to trigger water treatment softeners through regeneration. cycle, depending on the city.

All public schools in Houston will remain closed for a second day on Tuesday, after millions of residents were told to boil their drinking water following a power outage at one of the city’s sewage treatment plants. town.

Houston officials released an official statement boil water advisory on Sunday, when the outage caused water pressure at the East Water Purification Plant – which feeds the city’s main water system, serving around 2.2 million customers – drop below the minimum required by regulators of 20 PSI. Lower water pressure at the treatment plant increases the chances of bacteria and other harmful microbes entering drinking water supplies.

Although Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday the water is safe to use again, the city’s testing protocols mean its boil water advisory will remain in effect until at least Tuesday.

The Houston Independent School District announced building closures shortly after the notice was issued Sunday night, and said the Twitter he will continue to monitor the situation. The district said Monday afternoon schools would remain closed on Tuesday.

“This decision was made due to logistical challenges caused by the advisory. These challenges prevent the district from providing meals to its students and ensuring clean water is available for students and staff,” wrote the district on Twitter.

The city issued a Press release alerting residents on Sunday to a drop in pressure at the sewage treatment plant. He recommended that everyone living in the affected area refrain from drinking tap water without first bringing it to a “vigorous boil” and then letting it boil for another two minutes. People should follow this protocol before using the water to brush their teeth or wash their hands and face, the city said, noting that people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to harmful bacteria that could be present in the water supply.

“To ensure the destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water intended for drinking, cooking and ice-making must be boiled and cooled before being used for drinking water or for other purposes. for human consumption,” the boil water advisory reads. “Instead of boiling, individuals can purchase bottled water or obtain water from another source suitable for drinking water or for human consumption purposes.”

Late Sunday evening, Mayor Turner said city officials believe the water is safe to use, but regulatory requirements require a boil water advisory to remain in effect until the Texas Environmental Quality Commission has completed repeated testing of water samples and confirmed that they are uncontaminated.

“We believe the water is safe, but based on regulatory requirements when pressure drops below 20 psi, we are required to issue a boil water advisory. City submits plan to TCEQ for approval tonight,” the mayor tweeted. “Water samples will follow afterwards and hopefully we get the go-ahead from TCEQ. The City must wait 24 hours from then before the boil water advisory is suspended. The earliest would be tomorrow evening or very early Tuesday morning.”

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