Turbine at S&WB back online, boil advisory still in effect

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sewerage and water board building new orleans

NEW ORLEANS — The turbine that failed at the Sewerage and Water Board this morning and led to a boil advisory for much of Orleans Parish is back online, but the boil advisory remains in effect until further notice.

City officials said they still don’t know what caused the outage for Turbine No. 6, the turbine that was brought in to help power the Sewerage and Water Board systems after a series of flooding events and missteps at the troubled agency.

Not only did the turbine fail unexpectedly this morning, a pair of steam pumps that are supposed to kick in if the turbine fails did not activate. The water pressure dropped below 15 psi, which prompts an automatic precautionary boil advisory.

The boil advisory is still in effect.

Residents on the East Bank of Orleans Parish, including New Orleans East and the Lower Ninth Ward, are advised not to use tap water to drink, make ice, or brush their teeth until further notice, according to city officials.

Any residents who have a compromised immune system are advised not to use tap water to wash their hands or bathe.

All other residents are advised to take the following hygiene precautions:

  • Washing hands: Use soap and tap water, dry hands then apply hand sanitizer; the safest option is to wash with safe water.
  • Shower or bath: Being careful not to swallow any water, one may take a shower safely. Using caution when bathing infants and young children so that no water is swallowed is considered fairly safe. A sponge bath reduces the chance of swallowing water. The time spent bathing should be minimized. Children and disabled individuals should have their bath supervised to ensure water is not ingested. 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.
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