The Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for the entire East Bank of New Orleans due to a further drop in water pressure Thursday morning, Jan. 18.
This is an expansion of the advisory issued Wednesday for areas east of the Industrial Canal, including Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou. Neither advisory applies to the West Bank.
Water pressure dropped below the acceptable level of 15 psi at drainage pumping stations 3 and 5 Thursday morning.
This advisory will be in effect until further notice.
Broken frozen pipes and increases in water use to keep pipes from freezing likely have strained New Orleans’ water distribution system. The Sewerage & Water Board is urging residents to reduce water use wherever possible.
Throughout the evening, the S&WB had to draw down its stored water reserves to continue to meet demand.
During freezes, pipes with running water can still freeze and then break when they thaw. The Sewerage & Water Board has authorized the shutting off of water where major leaks have been detected, including large commercial properties.
Residents in the affected area are advised not to drink, make ice or brush teeth until further notice. Residents who have compromised immune systems are advised not to wash hands, shower or bathe. All other residents are advised to take the following precautions:
– Wash hands: Use soap and water, dry hands, then apply hand sanitizer. The safest option is to wash with boiled or bottled water.
– Shower or bathe: Be careful not to swallow water while showering or bathing. Use extra caution when bathing infants and young children. A sponge bath can reduce the chance of swallowing water. Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, are immunosuppressed, or have a chronic illness may want to consider using bottled or boiled water for cleansing until the advisory is lifted. For those who want to be absolutely safe, use safe water until further notice per the Louisiana Office of Public Health – Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section.
The Sewerage & Water Board has been in contact with the Louisiana Department of Health to begin the process of testing for possible contamination.
Customers in other areas of the city are not affected and do not need to boil their water at this time.
The boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice for customers in the affected area. S&WB will notify residents and businesses when the advisory is lifted. If you have any questions, please call 52WATER (529-2837).
Boil water advisories are issued out of an abundance of caution whenever the water pressure drops below 15 psi. We agree with the recommendations of our regulatory partner, the Louisiana Department of Health, that it is prudent to issue these advisories. The concern is that a pressure drop inside of a water pipe could allow contaminants into the pipe. Chlorine is a chemical that is added to water to combat contamination. The Sewerage & Water Board staff maintains a high chlorine residual and we aggressively and continually monitor our chlorine residual to ensure that our potable water has the ability to fight off bacteriological growth.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOILING WATER
Boil water for one full minute in a clean container. The one-minute boil time begins after the water has been brought to a rolling boil. (If there is a flat taste, it can be eliminated by shaking the water in a bottle or pouring it from one container to another.)
Please review and follow the Louisiana Office of Public Health’s Recommendations for Boil-Water Advisories listed on our website at
http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/assets/oph/Center-PHCH/CenterCH/infectious-epi/EpiManual/BoilWaterAdvisory.pdf or www.swbno.org to ensure that all tap water is properly disinfected before use.
What to do During a Boil Water Advisory
Boil Water Advisory Tips for Healthcare and Daycare Facilities