Residents in the Lower 9th Ward area of New Orleans are advised to not use water without boiling it first, according to a news release sent out Thursday afternoon by the Sewerage and Water Board.
The advisory reportedly stems from valve operations that caused pressure to drop below the standard level. Boil water advisories are issued out of caution whenever water pressure falls below 15psi, according to the release.
"The concern is that a pressure drop inside of the water pipe could allow an opportunity for contaminants into the pipe. Chlorine is a chemical that is added to water to combat contamination," said the release.
Here are the advisements by the S&WB for hygiene activities:
Washing hands: Use soap and tap water, dry hands then apply hand sanitizer; the safest option is to wash with safe water.
Shower or bath: Being careful not to swallow any water, one may take a shower safely. Using caution when bathing infants and young children so that no water is swallowed is considered fairly safe. A sponge bath reduces the chance of swallowing water. The time spent bathing should be minimized. Children and disabled individuals should have their bath supervised to ensure water is not ingested. Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, are immunosuppressed, or have a chronic illness may want to consider using bottled or boiled water for cleansing until the advisory is lifted. For those who want to be absolutely safe, use safe water until further notice per the Louisiana Office of Public Health – Infectious Disease Epidemiology Section.
Directions for boiling water are as follows: "Boil water for one full minute in a clean container. The one-minute boil time begins after the water has been brought to a rolling boil. (If there is a flat taste, it can be eliminated by shaking the water in a bottle or pouring it from one container to another.)
S&WB and state health officials will test samples of the water once necessary repairs are completed, although a timetable is not available at this time.
Residents in other areas of New Orleans should not be affected.
Customers in the affected area will be notified when the advisory is lifted. Those with questions can call 52WATER (529-2837).