HOUSTON - A boil water notice affecting a large portion of Houston has been lifted nearly two days after a power outage at a water purification plant.
Mayor Turner said Tuesday morning that the water is safe to drink without having to boil it first.
More than 2 million people across Houston have had to boil water before using it since Sunday, when a transformer failed at the East Water Purification Plant causing a backup transformer to kick on. Then that one failed, too.
Soon after, 16 sensors showed water pressure levels below 20 PSI, pounds per square inch.
"That was at 11 a.m. 16 of the 21 sites dropped below the emergency regulatory level of 20 PSI. Pressure rebounded above 20 PSI in less than two minutes at 14 of the 16 locations," Mayor Turner explained Monday. He said the other two sensors sat below emergency mandated levels for 30 minutes and full water pressure at 35 PSI was restored by 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Before the water notice lifted, water samples had to be tested. The city says the testing submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality confirmed that the tap water meets all regulatory standards and is safe to drink.
Houston Public Works says residents should run cold-water faucets for at least one minute to flush their system, clean automatic ice makers by making and discarding several batches of ice, and run water softeners through a regeneration cycle.
Several school districts, including Houston ISD, remained closed on Tuesday due to the notice. In a confirmed statement issued late afternoon, HISD announced its campuses would be open for Wednesday.
"All HISD schools, offices and facilities will resume normal operations Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
"The City of Houston Boil Water notice has been lifted and HISD maintenance and nutrition services personnel have begun flushing, cleaning, and sanitizing water fountains, pipes, faucets, and equipment with waterline connections along with replacing water filters at water bottle filling stations district wide.
"The health and safety of our students remains our top priority and we look forward to resuming in person instruction. The district does not anticipate the need to make up the prior two days as it has banked instructional minutes built into the academic calendar every year."