boil your water

Boil orders in effect for much of Greater Houston as water pressure plummets

Boil orders in effect for much of Greater Houston as pressure plummets

News_Tap Water_Dec 09
Much of the Greater Houston area is under boil notice advisories.  Photo by Aidan McManus

The extreme winter weather in the Houston area has not only posed issues with the power supply — now, locals are facing water pressure challenges.

Many municipalities have reported low water pressure in the midst of the freezing temperatures, advising people to limit water use to essential tasks. Some communities are also under a boil water advisory.

Here are the area utilities that have reported issues so far:

The Bacliff Municipal Utilities District has turned off the water to all customers while crews work to restore the supply. There's no timeline on service returning. Once it does, a boil order will be issued.

Officials announced that due to the extreme temperatures and power issues, the Baytown Area Water Authority plant is no longer operational. As a result, customers may experience no or very low water pressure. Baytown officials warn this may not change until temperatures rise above freezing.

The city of Bellaire issued a boil water notice late Tuesday night. Water used for drinking, cooking and ice should be boiled and cooled. Officials are urging residents to use bottled water until further notice.

Clear Lake
The Clear Lake City Water Authority has issued a boil water notice until further notice. Call them to shut off the water if leaking uncontrollably at 281-488-1164.

City officials say their water plants are experiencing some issues related to extreme cold temperatures and power-related issues, however, the water distribution system is operating.

Public Works recommends customers either store water in jugs or fill a bathtub with water to flush toilets, if water service should be interrupted.

They are seeing an extremely large amount of private water leaks, which causes a strain on the public water system. Customers should call the Public Works office immediately at 936-522-3885 if they notice a water leak. Crews will respond as soon as possible so to turn off the water service.

During this extreme weather event, customers are encouraged to conserve as much water as possible.

Deer Park
Deer Park city officials say they had to turn off the city's water supply to our customers in order to make emergency repairs. The decision was also made in order to preserve fire protection capabilities. Residential and commercial water customers may have intermittent water, however, this water must be boiled prior to human consumption.

A boil water order is now in effect for the City of Deer Park until further notice. To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, residents may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

Fort Bend County
Due to reduced distribution system pressure and low disinfection residuals within the Fort Bend County WCID #2 water system, which supplies water to Harris County MUD 122, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the Harris County MUD 122, TX1012391, public water system to notify all customers to boil their water prior to consumption.

Some of the neighborhoods under Fort Bend County WCID #2 water system include the following:

  • Townewest HOA
  • Townewest CIA
  • Eldridge Park Village
  • Riverway Estates

If you have questions, call Inframark, the operator for Harris County MUD 122, at their 24-hour Customer Service Line 281-398-8211.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George shared on Twitter a water boil notice for parts of the city of Fulshear.

"This impacts residents outside of Cross Creek Ranch. Residents of Downtown, Fullbrook, Fullbrook on Fulshear Creek, Fulshear Run, and Polo Ranch are under boil notice," George wrote.

The City of Galveston is under a boil water notice, meaning water for drinking, cooking and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

The notice comes after the city enacted Stage 5 of its water emergency response due to major water line breaks and system failures, which caused significant loss of the capability to provide water service.

The city says the boil water notice was placed to ensure destruction of any harmful bacteria.

The City of Galveston is under Stage 5 water restrictions after prolonged freezing temperatures exacerbated by the loss of power for heating caused major water line breaks in homes and businesses across the island.

Most customers may already be experiencing low to no water pressure as a result of these breaks and failures.

"The Thomas Mackey Water Plant is working at full capacity; however, demand is currently exceeding available supply," the city wrote on Facebook. "The Gulf Coast Water Authority will continue to supply water to the island as long as it can. The city's water supply is critically low, and efforts are ongoing to fill tanks while GCWA is still delivering water."

City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is urging residents to not run water to prevent pipes from freezing and to turn off water if pipes have burst. This comes as Turner states the city is working hard to maintain water pressure, but "it has become increasingly difficult."

The city's office of emergency management informed customers of low pressure involving Houston's water and wastewater systems.

"To help maintain water pressure in the system during this winter weather event, please use water only for essential tasks & help conserve water by not running washing machines, dishwashers, or watering outdoors," the office advised.

According to Houston Public Works, there are about 2.1 million customers subscribed to the utility.

On Tuesday, the Clear Lake City Water Authority, which is touted as the largest water district in Texas, said the City of Houston informed them that they must reduce the distribution water system pressure.

"Due to an extreme demand over the entire area it is becoming more difficult to keep water tanks full. The water remains safe to drink. Please conserve water and limit usage with the sanitary sewer service," the water authority said.


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