Boil water order issued for east bank of N.O. for at least 24 hours

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khou.com

Posted on March 3, 2013 at 1:24 PM

NEW ORLEANS - A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for all of the east bank of Orleans Parish, after a loss of water pressure Sunday morning, city officials said.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the advisory will remain in effect for at least 24 hours and until further notice. Landrieu added that water pressure has stabilized across most of the city.

At around 9 a.m., according to Landrieu, an interruption in the boiler room at the Orleans Parish Sewerage & Water Board Power Plant caused loss of 25-cycle power. Water pressure dipped below 15 psi, which is the threshold for issuing a boil water advisory.

The city has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference. Eyewitness News reporter Scott Satchfield is there and will bring you more on the situation as the news comes in.

S&WB recommends that customers boil their water for one minute and let it cool down prior to consumption (including drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or preparing food).

Officials say it's not not necessary to boil tap water for showering, laundy or bathing. If you do shower or bathe, make sure you have no open wounds and are not immune-compromised, and close your eyes and mouth while minimizing the amount of time spent in the water.

The problem first popped up just before 9 a.m. and the mayor's office tweeted a statement confirming the reports of low or no water pressure.

"Widespread loss of water pressure reported. We are looking into the matter," the mayor's office tweeted just after 9:15 a.m. on Sunday.

About 9:30 a.m., some customers reported the water pressure was returning to normal, however.  The problem appeared to have lasted for about an hour.

The area affected appeared to affect much of the city, with residents Uptown, in Lakeview, Gentilly, the Seventh Ward, and Faubourg Marigny calling or emailing Eyewitness News to report the problem.

In October 2012, a power outage shut off water to much of the city and prompted a boil water advisory, though city officials were criticized for the delay in notifying residents and businesses. It was more than four hours before the notification was issued that tap water could be contaminated because of the power loss.

The boil water advisory is generally issued because of concerns about contamination during a power outage. 

The mayor pointed to the October power problem, and the city's aging sewerage and water infrastructure, as evidence of the need for a rate increase to update the city's systems.

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