NEW ORLEANS — The Sewerage & Water Board has issued a precautionary boil water advisory for residents east of the Industrial Canal, including Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou. This doesn’t include the Lower 9th Ward.
Drainage Pumping Station 10 in New Orleans East saw pressure drop below the threshold of 15 psi at 4:33 p.m. The pressure remained under the acceptable levels for 15 minutes.
The Sewerage & Water Board believes breaks exposed by higher temperatures thawing frozen pipes and an increase in water use in the afternoon led to the pressure drop.
During prolonged 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, or shower or bathe. All other residents are advised to take the following precautions:
– Wash hands: Use soap and tap water, dry hands then apply hand sanitizer; the safest option is to wash with safe water.
– Shower or bathe: One may take a shower safely while being careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing infants and young children so that no water is swallowed. 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.
The Sewerage & Water Board has been in contact with the Louisiana Department of Health.
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 15psi. We agree with the recommendations of our regulatory partner, the Louisiana Department of Health, that it is prudent to issue these advisories out of an abundance of caution. 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.