Energy & Environment

Houston lifts boil-water order for 2.3M residents

People shop for bottled water after a boil water notice was issued for the entire city of Houston on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, at Walmart on S. Post Oak Rd. in Houston. (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The city of Houston has lifted a boil-water order for 2.3 million residents after a power outage at a purification plant caused water pressure to drop below the acceptable level. 

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) tweeted on Tuesday that the order has been rescinded and water is safe to drink and use for other purposes, adding that he appreciated people’s patience. 

Officials originally made the order on Monday after an outage at the East Water Purification Plant the day before caused the water pressure to fall below what Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations allow. 

State law requires a citywide boil-water advisory to remain in place until 24 hours after the TCEQ says the samples are at acceptable levels. Turner told NBC News that regulations require a boil-water order if the pressure falls below 20 pounds per square inch, even if officials believe the water is safe to drink. 

Turner said at a press conference on Monday that the order came out of an “abundance of caution” after two transformers “uniquely and coincidentally” failed. 

The order caused businesses and schools, including the Houston Independent School District, to close, The Associated Press reported. 

The city issued a boil-water order last year when the state’s power grid failed during extreme winter weather.

Tags boil water order Houston Sylvester Turner Sylvester Turner water purification plant
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