Houston under water boil notice after power failure

(HOUSTON) — Over two million Houston residents are under a water boil notice after a power outage Sunday affected a water treatment plant, officials said.

The water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant around 10:30 a.m. local time, according to the agency. Houston schools were closed Monday because of the order.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the water was safe and that the boil order was done to comply with regulations. He tweeted that the city submitted its plan to TCEQ to lift the notice Sunday night.

“Water samples will subsequently follow and hopefully we will get the all clear from TCEQ. The City has to wait 24 hours from that point before the boil water notice is suspended. The earliest would be tomorrow night or very early Tuesday morning,” Turner tweeted Sunday night.

He is scheduled to update the situation at a news conference at 10:30 a.m. local time Monday.

Yvonne Williams Forrest, Houston’s water director, told ABC affiliate KTRK-TV Sunday night that the order the city’s pressure system was never at zero, just below the regulatory limit. That pressure is important because it prevents anything from infiltrating the water system, she said.

“There are a number of steps in the regulatory process before you issue a boil water notice and we didn’t want to unnecessarily alert the city if we did not have to issue a boil water notice,” she told KTRK.

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