The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans has expanded a precautionary boil-water advisory to cover the entire east bank of the city early on Jan. 18, 2018. The initial advisory was put in place in the evening the day prior for the New Orleans East area.
When a boil-water advisory is put in place, it is suggested that all residents of the area under advisory boil water for five minutes before use to account for potential contaminants that may be present in the water. This particular order was put forth due to water pressure dropping below the safety threshold of 15 psi. at two different drainage pump stations. Water pressure in the area ordinarily hovers around 40 psi.
In an official statement, the Sewerage & Water Board claims “broken frozen and increases in water use to keep pipes from freezing likely have strained New Orleans’ water distribution system. The Sewerage & Water Board is urging residents to reduce water use wherever possible.”
The utility has also called for residents to drastically reduce water usage in the face of the new advisory, suggesting the stoppage of running faucets, dishwashers and washing machines.
According to Joe Sensebe, the interim utility manager, work crews have begun to scour the area for potential leaks or causes of the pressure drop, as well as closing water valves at several properties where burst pipes had been discovered.
Such pressure drops may be a thing the past following the construction of two new water towers in the area, which will ease the stress place on the current system. However, these will not be up and running until August 2018 and March 2019, respectively.