Nov 28 (News) — The city of Houston issued a notice to its millions of residents about boiling water after water pressure in its main system dropped over the weekend, prompting several school districts to cancel classes for Monday.
City officials said in a statement Sunday night that the drop in pressure was due to a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant that began at 10:30 a.m
Since then, pressure has been restored for its 2.2 million customers, but the boiling water notification was issued to ensure any harmful bacteria and other microbes that may be present in the water have been destroyed.
“We believe the water is safe, but based on regulatory requirements, if the pressure drops below 20 psi, we are required to issue a water boiling notification,” said the Office of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner a statement.
The samples were submitted to the Texas Environmental Quality Commission for approval Sunday night, but the city must wait at least 24 hours before it can revoke the boiling water notification, he said.
“The earliest would be tomorrow night or very early Tuesday morning,” he said.
The city’s largest Houston independent school district, with more than 194,000 students, announced late Sunday that it will remain closed Monday after Thanksgiving weekend due to the boiling water announcement.
The Spring Branch, Aldine, South West Schools, Pasadena, YES Prep and Varnett Public School school districts also said their classes would be closed Monday.
Alief ISD, Clear Creek ISD, Crosby ISD, Fort Bend ISD and others said they would remain open.
“All CFISD campuses will be open Monday,” said Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, which serves more than 114,880 students a statement. “CFISD campuses impacted by the City of Houston Cooking Notification will have bottled water, meals that can be heated without water, and additional hand sanitizer.
“The toilet flush is not affected.”
In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott said he has directed TCEQ and the state’s Department of Emergency Management to allocate resources to support the city.