Boil water advisory frustrates thousands on the East Bank - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Boil water advisory frustrates thousands on the East Bank

New Orleans, LA -- The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board issued its 3rd boil advisory in less than a year for the East Bank.

City leaders say it's just a precaution, following a fire this morning in the power plant, which is located at 8800 South Claiborne.

When Sherry Bedrosian finished her morning cup of coffee she got a big surprise.

"Went to clean everything for the coffee and there was no water," Bedrosian.

Like thousands of New Orleanians, who live on the East Bank, they woke to little  or no water pressure.

Marcia St. Martin, Executive Director of the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, says there was a small fire at the power plant on South Claiborne Avenue.

The fire cut off the electricity for approximately 20 minutes, causing water pressure to dip below the federal government requirements.

"So within 20 minutes we were able to have water back to 50 parts per inch, so we are operating the system today. Water is being distributed today at normal pressure," says St. Martin.

As a precaution the Sewerage and Water Board immediately issued a boil water advisory for the entire East Bank of Orleans Parish for the next 24-hours.

"Boil water for one full minute in a clean container. That means taking water to a rolling boil for at least a minute and letting it cool before you use it," says New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo.

This boil water advisory will remain in effect until further notice for customers in the affected area.

The Sewerage and Water Board will notify residents when the advisory is lifted.

The city's health department is testing the water supply.

In the meantime, restaurants like Superior Grill on St. Charles are scrambling to service customers, while keeping safety top priority.

"Right now I'm in the process of ordering more ice, can't use any of our soda machines because that uses tap water. so we've got bottle cokes, bottle water," says Superior Grill Manager, Stephen Vanderbrook.

St. Martin says Sewerage and Water Board is working with an aging system.

"That power system was established in1903, it's used on a daily basis to generate power to power the water distribution system and the drainage system for the city of new Orleans. Mechanically we're going to have to repair the fire damage," says St. Martin.

The cost to repair the damage is still to be determined.

Sewerage and Water Board says the results on the water samples are due back Monday morning around 9:00 a.m.

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