NEW ORLEANS (AP) - People in most of New Orleans have been told to boil tapwater before drinking it or doing anything else that might get it into their bodies.
The boil order from the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board covers the east bank, where about 300,000 people live, but not the Algiers area across the Mississippi River.
It will last at least until Tuesday afternoon, when results of tests for bacteria will be known. The water samples must incubate at least 24 hours.
Officials say the boil order is a precaution because the main treatment plant lost power for a few minutes Monday morning during maintenance work. Low pressure in water pipes makes it possible for contamination to get in.
The order means east bank residents should not drink, make ice from, brush teeth, bathe or shower, prepare or rinse food with tap water unless it has been kept at a rolling boil for a full minute.
A power failure at the same plant in November 2010 prompted a similar order.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
FOX 8 News received this advisory statement from the S&WB Monday:
PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER ADVISORY ISSUED FOR THE EAST BANK OF ORLEANS PARISH
Sewerage and Water Board and the state Department of Health and Hospital officials are warning the residents of the East Bank of Orleans Parish not to drink, make ice from, brush teeth, bathe or shower, prepare or rinse food with tap water unless it has been properly disinfected until further notice.
A momentary loss of 25-cycle power at about 8:30 a.m. at the main water plant brought water pressure to low levels throughout the eastbank of the city. Out of an abundance of caution, residents are advised that the quality of the water may be unsafe due to bacteriological contamination. Therefore, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans in conjunction with DHH has issued a BOIL WATER ADVISORY effective Monday, October 8, 2012 for the entire east bank of the City of New Orleans. Residents may expect the boil advisory to continue until water quality testing has proven the safety of the water. This does not affect Algiers.
State officials are cautioning users of the water system to disinfect their water before consuming it or using it for food preparation by the following means:
Boil water for one full minute in a clean container. The one-minute starts 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.
This boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice.
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