Houstonians should prepare to boil water through the weekend

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says the city’s boil water notice will likely be in place through the weekend.

The boil water notice was issued on Wednesday after water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during the winter weather.

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Mayor Turner says the water pressure is now above 20 PSI, but work continues to stabilize it and build up the pressure.

LIST: Boil water notices in effect in the Houston area

Boil water notices are being issued throughout the greater Houston area.

He says it needs to reach about 35 PSI, which they don’t anticipate happening until tomorrow. Samples must then be sent to TCEQ.

"So we’re still looking at some time, probably at the best, I would say Sunday, but I’m just going to say Monday. So we’ll still be in this boil water status probably until about Sunday or Monday," he says.

Residents will be notified when the boil water notice is lifted.

The mayor says residents with electricity need to boil their water before drinking it. Those without power should drink bottled water.

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The City is working on setting up distribution sites for those who can’t afford bottled water. They are working with district council members to establish sites where the free distributions will take place.  A list of sites is expected to be released later today.

The public is asked to continue to conserve water as they work to build pressure.

Mayor Turner says the hospitals and fire hydrants have been their top priorities in restoring pressure. He says water pressure needed to be above 20 PSI for firefighters to effectively do their jobs. He also says water pressure should be better now at hospitals in the city.

Once the city is past the boil water notice and the power is restored, the attention then turns to those with home damage.

Mayor Turner says a fund is being set up to assist people without insurance, seniors, and others who have suffered water-related damage in their homes when frozen pipes burst.

Specifics of the fund have not yet been released.