March 2, 2021

Global News Archive

News archives from around the world.

‘We have been given the all clear’: Houston lifts boil water notice – Houston Chronicle

3 min read

The City of Houston lifted its boil water notice on Sunday afternoon.

“We have been given the all clear,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a news conference on Sunday.

Turner was speaking from Butler Stadium, where bottled water was being distributed. He acknowledged that, even with the lifted boil water notice, tens of thousands of people still don’t have water in their homes.

In addition, all Houstonians should take a few steps prior to drinking it.

A fight to survive: Deep freeze imperiled Texas’ most vulnerable

Residents need to:

–Run cold water through the tap for 1 minute to bring clean water into the pipes.

–Dump ice in the ice maker and then make at least three batches before using the ice.

–Put home water softeners through a regeneration cycle.

–Remove and clean screens on faucets.

The boil water notice was implemented Wednesday after the city’s water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 pounds per square inch. Below this pressure, there’s an increased risk that contaminants could force their way into pipes.

The low pressure was caused by last week’s arctic weather, which prompted pipes to burst across the city and equipment to fail at water distribution facilities.

Other Houston-area cities that have lifted their boil water orders include Pearland, Bellaire, Katy, Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula, La Porte, League City, Sugar Land, Texas City, Baytown, Tomball, Huntsville, Stafford and Hitchcock.

To lift the boil water notice, Houston’s water system had to rebound to a stable pressure of 35 psi. Then the city had to collect water samples and send them to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Those samples underwent at least 24 hours of laboratory testing to determine if bacteria was growing in the system.

Looking to the future: Winter 2021 wrought the power crisis of a lifetime. Will it spur reform?

“Because so many pipes have burst across our region, even though the boil water notice has been lifted, people still need water,” Turner said.

People beginning to repair their homes should take sheet rock and other debris to the curb and then call 3-1-1.

Turner promised that Houstonians would not have to pay exorbitant water bills due to burst pipes. The city will amend those bills.

And if retail electric providers don’t amend high electricity bills, caused by variable rate plans, Turner said state legislators should take responsibility for those higher bills.

Variable rate plans can go up or down based on the market and “the discretion of your electric company,” according to Power To Choose, an electricity shopping website operated by the Public Utility Commission. With variable plans, customers can benefit from low market prices but have an increased risk for higher rates if electricity prices spike due to natural disasters, cold winters or adverse market conditions.

“Just like we can do that as it relates to the water bills, the state of Texas ought to assume that same responsibility as it relates to these high electricity bills,” Turner said.

And with the trauma caused this week — on top of the trauma caused by COVID-19 — Turner also asked state legislators to make more financial resources available for mental health.

Source Link

Leave a Reply

Copyright ©2016-2021 Global News Archive. All rights reserved.