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Here's why it took City of Houston hours to inform public about citywide boil water notice

Some viewers said they didn’t get a text alert about the boil water notice until after 10 p.m. Sunday.

HOUSTON — City of Houston residents were notified about an issue at the city's water plant nearly eight hours after a problem was first detected, according to a timeline from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

The mayor said one reason it took a long time is because they weren’t sure a boil water notice needed to be issued.

Turner said 14 of the 16 sensors showing water pressure below the state’s limit dropped sometime before 11 a.m. and stayed that way for less than two minutes. The other two rebounded within 30 minutes.



The mayor said Houston Water staff spoke with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Sunday afternoon for nearly four hours. 

Based on the data from sensors, that’s when Turner said the city decided to issue a boil water notice out of an abundance of caution. That was at 6:40 p.m. 

At 6:44, four minutes later, KHOU received an emailed press release announcing the boil water advisory. 


Some viewers said they didn’t get a text alert until after 10 p.m.

“We’ve already got it on our list on the after-action review of making sure that that notification happens earlier," said Houston Public Works Director Carol Haddock. "In the past, we were in weather emergencies, so we were already in those communication channels. In this case, it was not a weather emergency, so we’re absolutely going to review our processes on that and evaluate the revisions to that process to see if that happens simultaneously.”

Haddock is urging everyone to register with Alert Houston for their emergency alerts.

You can choose which events you want to be notified of and how.

Turner said his top emergency manager is also looking at ways to get these types of alerts out to everyone, whether they’re signed up or not.

As of Monday at 3:30 p.m., the following areas remain under the citywide boil water notice:

  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Baybrook MUD 1
  • Central Harris County Regional Authority
  • Chimney Hill MUD
  • City of Bellaire
  • City of Bunker Hill Village
  • City of Friendswood
  • City of Galena Park
  • City of Hillshire Village
  • City of Humble
  • City of Jacinto City
  • City of Jersey Village
  • City of Pasadena - East Plant
  • City of Pearland
  • City of South Houston
  • City of Southside Place
  • City of Spring Valley
  • City of Webster
  • City of West University
  • Clear Brook City MUD
  • Clear Lake City Water Authority
  • CyChamp via North Harris County Regional Water Authority (NHCRWA)
  • Greenwood Utility District
  • Gulf Coast Water Authority (Galveston)
  • HCMUD 182
  • HCMUD 278
  • HCMUD 344
  • HCMUD 400
  • HCMUD 412
  • HCMUD 422
  • HCMUD 49
  • HCMUD 537
  • HCMUD 148
  • HCMUD 158
  • HCMUD 220
  • HCMUD 23
  • HCMUD 261 & Windfern Forest Utility District
  • HCMUD 372
  • HCMUD 402
  • HCMUD 403
  • HCMUD 406
  • HCMUD 420
  • HCMUD 421
  • HCMUD 461
  • HCMUD 5
  • HCMUD 55
  • HCMUD 6
  • HCMUD 8
  • HCMUD 96
  • HCWCID 89
  • HCWCID 96
  • HCWCID - Fondren Road
  • La Porte Water Authority
  • Memorial Villages Water Authority
  • Montgomery County MUD 98
  • Municipal Operations, LLC Swae Gardens
  • North Channel Water Authority
  • North Fort Bend County Water Authority
  • North Harris County Regional Water Authority
  • Pine Village PUD
  • Regional Water Adv. Comm. (RWAC)
  • Rolling Fork Public Utility District
  • Sunbelt Fresh Water Supply District
  • Sunbelt Fresh Water Supply District -Northline
  • Sunbelt Fresh Water Supply District -Oakwilde
  • West Harris County Regional Water Authority
  • West Harris County MUD 16
  • Windfern Forest Utility District
  • 147th T A N G
  • Acorn Village Mobile Home Park
  • TPC Group Houston Plant
  • Center Point Energy Control Data CTR
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center Knight/Alkek
  • Rice University
  • Tasfield Subdivision
  • Mount Houston MUD
  • Sequoia Improvement District
  • Memorial City Medical Center
  • North Green MUD
  • Bissonnet MUD
  • Brittmoore Utility
  • Greens Parkway MUD
  • Harris County MUD 118
  • Harris County MUD 122
  • Harris County MUD 191
  • Harris County MUD 25
  • Harris County MUD 400 West
  • Kings Manor MUD
  • Montgomery County MUD 83
  • Sage Meadow Utility District
  • Sun Coast Resources
  • Sunbelt FWSD Heatherglen Subdivision
  • Sunbelt FWSD High Meadows Subdivision
  • Sunbelt FWSD Woodland Oaks Subdivision
  • West Harris County MUD 6

For tips on what to do during a boil water notice, click here.

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