Blinda Whaley pours water into a pan to boil after receiving a case of water and some food from a volunteer group led by Marcel McClinton in the 1900 block of Benson Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Houston. Residents in the Fifth Ward neighborhood received several cases of water and food to help with recovery from the recent winter storms. The residents of the neighborhood have been without water for several days because of broken pipes from the freeze.
Water pressure dipped below state safety requirements Sunday morning during an outage at the city’s East Water Purification Plant, the city’s Department of Public Works said in a statement.
Microbes that may have entered the water pose greater risks to children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems, the city said, noting a subsequent notice will be issued once the water is safe to drink without precaution.
Once boil water notices are lifted, flush home plumbing systems by running cold water through all faucets for at least five minutes. Residents should also flush out all appliances connected to the water line, such as refrigerators and dishwaters. Any disposable filtration system that may have come in contact with contaminated water should be discarded or replaced. StateFoodSafety recommends that ice from ice makers should be dumped and replaced three times before use.
A boil water notice is still in effect for the city of Houston, which means all water consumed by residents and pets should be boiled to kill potential bacteria.
This includes water used for food preparation, oral hygiene, preparing baby formula or that’s being given to pets for drinking. Even water used for hot beverages, like coffee made with a coffee maker, should be boiled beforehand. It’s also a good idea to throw away any ice that may have been contaminated.
Contamination most often occurs when a pipe bursts, there are issues with local water treatment facilities and during severe weather or natural disasters. When these events happen, the water supply is exposed sewage and other dangerous bacteria; by consuming it, people and their pets become at risk for diarrhea, cholera, Giardia, Salmonella infections and E. coli infections.
Take caution not to swallow any water when bathing or showering. Sponge baths are a good alternative for bathing young children and babies to reduce their chances of swallowing water.
Breastfeeding is the safest option for feeding infants; ready-to-use formulas also are recommended, if available. Be sure to sterilize all baby bottles with boiled water before use.
Most household dishwashers are safe if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Best practices suggest using the sanitization cycle on dishwashers with that setting.
During an extended power outage, water can be boiled outside over a propane or charcoal grill. Another option is to boil water in a fireplace using a pot, as you would over a campfire.
source: Houston Chronicle