Texas’ Largest City Under Boil Water Notice After Power Failure

Texans face boil water notices in cities across the state. (Getty Images)
Getty Images

HOUSTON, Texas — The state’s largest city is under a boil water notice after water pressure dropped during a power outage at a water purification plant. The notice went to residents of Houston and Harris County on Sunday.

A power outage at the city’s East Water Purification Plant on Sunday morning caused water pressure to drop below the 20 PSI requirement set by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Fox 26 Houston reported. The Houston Public Works Department issued a notice to residents to boil water for at least two minutes before drinking, brushing teeth, or bathing.

City officials advised people not to drink the water until boiling and cooling. The boiling process kills any harmful bacteria that may have entered the water system during the low-pressure period.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to provide resources to support the City of Houston.

“The State of Texas is immediately responding and deploying support to Houston as they work to get a safe supply of water back online,” said Governor Abbott. “We have been in contact with Mayor Turner to offer the full support of the state, and we’re currently working to fulfill the city’s request for help with rapid turnaround of water sample results.’

“I thank TDEM and TCEQ for swiftly responding to help address this issue,” Abbott added. “We urge those that the boil water notice affects to continue heeding the guidance of local officials and take adequate precautions when boiling and using water. Together, we will ensure our fellow Texans are supported while the city’s water supply returns.”

In an abundance of caution, the City of Bellaire, which is surrounded by Houston, also issued a notice.

The boil-water notice also impacts unincorporated areas of Harris and Fort Bend Counties, impacting roughly 2.3 million people, KTRK ABC13 reported.

The notice came approximately six hours after the power outage. This left many questioning why there was a delay in notification.

“This is not an instantaneous automatic notice. Just because the power went out, doesn’t mean the power went out in the system. We had to verify that the pressure drop was real and reach out to TCEQ. There are a number of steps to take before issuing a boil water notice,” Houston Water Director Yvonne Williams Forrest explained.

A tweet from the office of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said they believe the water is safe but the city is obligated to issue the warning when the pressure drops below 20 PSI.

It does not appear that Turner has made a personal public statement.

The notice is expected to remain in place until Tuesday morning.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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