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HOUSTON (CW39) A boil water notice was issued for the City of Houston’s Main Water System (TX1010013) Wednesday morning when water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during the arctic winter weather event.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions the City of Houston has received:

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A BOIL WATER NOTICE IS ISSUED?
Do not drink the water without boiling it first. Bring all water to a boil for at least two minutes. Let it cool before using it.

ARE KINGWOOD, WILLOWCHASE OR CLEAR LAKE INCLUDED IN THE BOIL WATER NOTICE?
No, the following areas are NOT served by the City’s Main Water System:

  • Kingwood
  • Willowchase
  • Clear Lake (served by the Clear Lake City Water Authority)

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I DO NOT HAVE POWER (OR RUNNING WATER)?
Individuals without power (and/or running water) are advised to use bottled water for consumption.

IS THE WATER SAFE FOR BATHING?
The water may be used by healthy people for showering, bathing, shaving, and washing if care is taken not to swallow water and avoid shaving nicks. To minimize the chance of infections, people with open wounds, cuts, blisters or recent surgical wounds and people who are immunocompromised or suffer from chronic illness should use boiled water (then cooled) or water from an alternate source. Children and disabled individuals should be supervised to ensure water is not ingested. Sponge bathing is advisable, and bathing time should be minimized to further reduce the potential for ingestion.

WHEN WILL THE BOIL WATER NOTICE BE LIFTED?
The City expects to have stabilized pressures back into the operational range before the end of the day on Thursday, February 18. It could take another 24-48 hours past that point to receive the all-clear from the State of Texas and lift the Boil Water Notice.

More frequently asked questions about the boil water notice are available here.

I DON’T HAVE WATER AT MY HOME OR APARTMENT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you live in an apartment building, please contact your apartment management.

If you live in a home:

  1. if there is some water flow – partially fill up your bathtub to use the water to flush toilets. If no water flow, skip to 2
  2. bleed water lines by turning on all sinks and shower / tub facets – both hot and cold (open, but not fully opened)
  3. Shut off the water to your home

HOW DO I TURN OFF THE WATER TO MY HOME?
You may need an adjustable wrench or pliers to assist in turning off the valves.
Homes will have either a gate or ball valve:

  • Ball valve: turn lever 90 degrees (lever is perpendicular to the pipes when valve is closed. It will be parallel when valve is open)
  • Gate valve (common in older homes): gently turn round handle clockwise (right) until it is completely closed. (you will turn handle counterclockwise to turn water back on)