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The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) has some major problems.  Not the board itself, but our water company, the water company for New Orleans residents.

The problem with the S&WB is how outdated and antiquated its infrastructure is.  The master plant on Claiborne Avenue near the Orleans/Jefferson Parish line is probably America’s oldest water purification facility.  Major portions of the facility, including how the plant is powered, go back over a century.

And now for the 2nd time in just the last few months, the S&WB has issued a “boil water warning” for New Orleans residents.

I’m pretty sure New Orleans is a major U.S. city and has been for centuries.  The fact that we have to occasionally boil our water, like a third world country, isn’t just an inconvenience but is entirely unacceptable.

The over 100 year old sewerage and water system in New Orleans is in desperate need of replacement.   The cost: around $3.5 billion.  We can either pay for it with a  higher water bill or we can leave the system as it is and expect more boil advisories.

Obviously, being a tourist and convention city, we don’t have the luxury of being 2nd rate and waiting to fix the problem.  Can’t have hotel guests boiling their water.  Can’t have a  boil advisory during a Superbowl.  It’s time we fix the problem once and for all.  A higher priced water bill is the only way.

News
03/04/13

Boil water advisory lifted

water from tap 2The boil water advisory for the east bank of New Orleans has been cancelled, according to Ryan Berni in Mayor Landrieu’s office.

A precautionary boil water advisory was issued for 24 hours on the East Bank of New Orleans due to a fire in the boiler room that caused a power outage at the Sewerage and Water Board plant Sunday morning.

A fire in the boiler room caused the power failure at the Sewerage & Water Board plant.  It happened around 9 on Sunday morning.   The fire was quickly put out, and nobody was injured.  This incident caused some water pressure to fail and may have opened up the way for water contamination.

Local leaders are asking that you don’t drink the water, unless you boil it for at least one minute, and then let it cool down.  The boil advisory is in effect for the entire East Bank of New Orleans for the next 24 hours.   This includes most of New Orleans including The French Quarter, Uptown, and Central Business District.  It takes at least 24 hours for officials to figure out if there’s potentially dangerous bacteria in the water.  Drinking water could lead to diarrhea.  They are advising not to cook, brush your teeth, or drink the water unless it’s boiled.

Officials said it’s okay to shower or bathe as long as you don’t have any open wounds.  They don’t recommend using water that’s not boiled to give your pet or child a bath.   No word yet on whether the boil advisory will affect schools in Orleans Parish tomorrow.

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NEW ORLEANS, LA– A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for all of the East Bank of Orleans Parish, and will remain in effect at least 24 hours and until further notice. The West Bank of Orleans Parish is not impacted.

At approximately 9am this morning, an interruption in the boiler room at the Sewerage & Water Board Power Plant caused a loss of 25-cycle power. Engineers were able to transition to 60-cycle power but water pressure dipped below 15 psi (pounds per square inch), which is the threshold established by public health officials for issuing a boil water advisory.

Water pressure has stabilized across most of the city; however, this boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice for customers in the affected area. Now, S&WB engineers and public health officials will undertake testing of water samples from across the city.

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

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, adding a pinch of salt, or pouring it from one container to another.)

At this time, it is not necessary to boil tap water used for other household purposes, such as showering, laundry, or bathing, but bathing or showering should be avoided by people with open wounds or who are immune-compromised. For those people who choose to shower or bathe in the tap water, minimize the time spent in the water and be sure to keep your eyes and mouth closed.

You may use a dishwasher if it has a sanitizing cycle. Pets are not normally affected by the same diseases as humans, but caution suggests giving pets boiled or bottled water.

Again, this boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice, at least for 24 hours, for customers in the affected area.

The Sewerage and Water Board will notify residents when the advisory is lifted.

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Residents from Gentilly to the Garden District, Uptown to the French Quarter are reporting low or no water pressure.

The New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board has not released a cause for the drop in pressure.

A precautionary boil water order has been issued:

NEW ORLEANS, LA– A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for all of the East Bank of Orleans Parish.

Sewerage & Water Board officials are still determining the cause of a loss of water pressure at the S&WB Power Plant.

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

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.)

This boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice for customers in the affected area. The Sewerage and Water Board will notify residents when the advisory is lifted.

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