A boil water notice in Houston will likely be lifted Monday, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced during a briefing Thursday.
“We’re still looking at some times, probably at the best I would say Sunday, but I’m just going to say Monday,” Turner said. “So we will still be in this boil water status probably until about Sunday or Monday.”
Houston residents Wednesday were warned to boil their water — if they had the power to do so– after water pressure plummeted throughout the Houston-area. Residents are advised to use bottled or boiled water for drinking, cooking and hygiene purposes like brushing your teeth or washing your face until the notice is lifted.
Since Wednesday, water pressure has improved across Houston, said Mayor Sylvester Turner, though the city’s public works department is still working to build up and stabilize it.
“It takes some time to really stabilize it and then once it has stabilized and it’s above 20 in terms of the pressure — it needs to be right around 35, really — and we don’t anticipate that taking place until tomorrow,” said Turner.
City officials urged residents to continue conserving water.
“If the water pressure is up in your home, for example, don’t just go out and start washing a lot of clothes and all of that because we still need to enhance water pressure and to build it up and then to stabilize it,” said Turner.
During the briefing, Turner also announced that water distribution sites will open in each of the city council’s districts around 2 p.m. today. He tasked each council member with designating those sites. Not sure which district you live in? View a map of the city’s council districts here.
“We want to do it this way because we don’t want people to be converging on just one or two sites,” said Mayor Turner. “We want to establish sites throughout the City that will be accessible through a lot of individuals.”
One of the designated sites was the Jewish Community Center in southwest Houston. The JCC was given 84 cases of water and ran out in about 30 minutes.
According to the public works department, the city’s water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) required minimum of 20 PSI on Tuesday afternoon, prompting the water boil notice.
A combination of bursting pipes and equipment failures at water distribution facilities amid the freezing weather caused the plummeting water pressure, said Carol Haddock, director of public works.
Turner announced a fund will be created to assist those recovering from infrastructure damage related to the freeze. Turner also said CenterPoint Energy’s Chief Executive Officer David J. Lesar had agreed to serve as the fund’s chair.
After water pressure returns to normal levels, a 24-hour observation period on water samples must occur before the boil water notice can be lifted.
Dozens of nearby municipalities, including the Pearland, Katy, and Sugarland areas have also issued boil water notices.