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Houston: Schools will remain closed Tuesday due to the city’s ongoing boil water advisory, district says


Houston schools will remain closed Tuesday due to the ongoing boil water advisory issued Sunday due to a loss of water pressure at a sewage treatment plant, the district tweeted Monday afternoon.

The power outage at the East Houston Water Purification Plant on Sunday was caused by a faulty transformer and a faulty standby transformer, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday. The outage caused all schools in the city to close on Monday, officials said.

Officials expect the boil water advisory issued Sunday night to be lifted at 3 a.m. Tuesday, Turner said.

Turner said two transformers at the power plant went offline around 10:30 a.m., and another followed shortly after.

When the plants went offline, the sensors indicated that the PSI, or pounds per square inch, had fallen below 20 in 16 of the 21 sensors, Turner added.

Carol Haddock, director of Houston Public Works, said a PSI below 20 increases the risk of introducing contaminants and noted that a PSI below 20 could also affect water treatment and pumping plants. .

Water for drinking, cooking, washing hands and face, and brushing teeth should be boiled for at least two minutes before use to destroy all bacteria and other potentially harmful microbes, the city said.

Houston’s water and wastewater utility serves about 2.2 million customers daily, according to the utility’s website.

Haddock said there were no indications of contamination and the boil water advisory was issued out of an abundance of caution.

Turner said he called for a comprehensive review of body of water systems to prevent future transformer failures. He anticipates the boil advisory will be lifted once sampling is approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“Earlier in the day, water pressure dropped below the Texas Environmental Quality Commission’s required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the water purification plant. East Water,” a city news release said Sunday.

The water pressure is now restored.

“We believe the water is safe, but based on regulatory requirements when the pressure drops below 20 psi, we are required to issue a boil water advisory,” the mayor’s office said. of Houston, Sylvester Turner. said on Twitter Sunday night.

A water sampling plan has been sent to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to Erin Jones, public information manager for Houston Public Works. Once the water sampling plan is approved, water samples are taken by the city, submitted, and will be kept for 18 hours in the commission’s lab to see if anything grows on it, Jones said.

If nothing grows on the water samples, the state will give the city the go-ahead to rescind the boil water order. The city must wait for the state and cannot independently overturn the boil order, according to Jones.

If anything develops on those water samples, obviously canceling the order will take longer, Jones added.

“We are working closely with the City of Houston and stand ready to review the city’s water sample results and offer any technical assistance that may be needed,” the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said in a statement.

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