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Boil water notice issued for entire City of Houston

The City of Houston issued a boil water notice for the main water system due to a drop in water pressure at one of its purification plants.

HOUSTON — A boil water notice was issued Sunday for the City of Houston's main water system. That means the notice is in effect for everyone in Houston and some suburbs.

City officials said they expect it to be lifted overnight Tuesday. The city said it will notify customers when the water is safe to consume without boiling.

As of 7 p.m., the City of Bellaire lifted its boil water notice after it was determined the events that happened in the City of Houston’s Main Public Water System did not impact water quality in the City of Bellaire’s Public Water System.

The city tweeted that the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality approved Houston Public Work's plan to test water samples. Testing will begin Monday morning.

The boil water notice is in effect for the entire city as well as areas that rely on the East Water Purification Plant.

The city said the water pressure at the East Water Purification Plant (2342 Federal Road) dropped below the state's required minimum on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.  The city didn't send out a boil water notice until just after 7 p.m., more than eight hours later.

The city water department says the boil water notice is precautionary and it doesn't believe you’re at any risk if you drank or used water on Sunday before the notice was issued.


Who is affected by the boil water notice?

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT IF YOUR HOME IS INCLUDED (The map has been unavailable at times. A map of the boil water notice affected area is below.)

Credit: City of Houston
The area in red is under a boil water notice. It's the entire city of Houston.

What should you do if you're included in the boil water notice?

As a result of the boil water notice, the public is advised to:

  • Don't drink the water without boiling it first
  • Bring all water to a boil for at least two minutes
  • Let it cool before using

We have a full list of what that means for brushing teeth, pets and more. Check for a full list of what you need to do in a boil water notice

Those who don't have the ability to boil water are being advised to use bottled water for consumption. Children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria that could be in the water.

Houston Water Director Yvonne Williams Forrest spoke to KHOU 11 News about the notice.

Mayor Sylvester Turner statement

“We believe the water is safe but based on regulatory requirements when pressure drops below 20 psi we are obligated to issue a boil water notice. The City is submitting its plan to TCEQ for approval tonight. Water samples will subsequently follow and hopefully we will get the all clear from TCEQ. The City has to wait 24 hours from that point before the boil water notice is suspended. The earliest would be tomorrow night or very early Tuesday morning.”

What about schools?

HISD canceled classes for Monday due to the boil water notice. But there are more schools and districts that are closing. Here's a full list

Gov. Abbott responds to boil water notice

Upon hearing about the boil water notice, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to help.

"The State of Texas is immediately responding and deploying support to Houston as they work to get a safe supply of water back online," Abbott said. "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. 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."

TCEQ statement

"We are working closely with the City of Houston and stand ready to review the city’s water sample results and offer any technical assistance that may be needed."

More info

If you have questions, you can call 311 or email waterquality@houstontx.gov.

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