A loss of water pressure this morning was a little more severe than the Sewerage and Water Board feared.
Initially, the Water Board said they didn't consider the pressure drop to be bad enough to require a boil advisory.
"Our gauges showed 20 psi," said director Marcia St. Martin. She said their threshold to automatically trigger a boil advisory is when pressure drops to 15 pounds per square inch or lower.
"As the Department of Health and Hospitals checked with our customers, they determined some of our customers had pressure that was maybe lower than 20 psi."
St. Martin said the have no reason to believe at this time that there was any contamination, because the loss of pressure only lasted minutes. She says routine maintenance at the main treatment plant in Carrollton caused the loss in pressure.
Here is the full news release from the City:
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.