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Houston is the last Texas city to boil water for safety

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A photo: Aaron M. Sprecher (AP)

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As 2 million Houston residents now have to boil water for cooking and cleaning after a power outage at a water treatment plant, Texas continues its history of power outages and poor water quality.

Sunday water treatment plant lost power and caused the water pressure to drop below the required minimum standards needed to maintain clean water. The power supply to the plant has been restored, but testing for water pollution has already begun and the results are yet to come. By late Sunday evening, residents began receiving notifications to boil water before use.

“We still have no indication that the system was compromised at any point,” said Houston Public Administration Director Carol Haddock. said Texas Tribune.

Officials in Houston tried to allay concerns about the blackout. Haddock said that the power loss caused by refusal transformer and its backup power, did not show any catastrophic potential that could occur in the city’s water supply. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said his office believes the city’s water is safe, but they are still required to issue notices due to pressure drops. But, criticism from residents about the lack of prompt and clear communication. Mayor Turner supported the decision to alert residents several hours after the initial outage.

Residents encouraged Boil water to a boil for at least two minutes before using it for cooking, bathing, or drinking. Those who cannot boil water are asked to use bottled water, but local grocery stores already sold out bottled water. The notice may expire as early as this morning.

Houston, the fourth most populous city in the country, supplies water to approximately 2.2 million people. Houston School Monday restaurantsas well as enterprises were closed due to a boil warning. Cities that receive water in bulk from Houston also issued warnings residents.

Boil notices are not new to Texas, a state that, according to Environmental Protection Agency, has the most water quality violations in the country. Two years ago, sub-zero temperatures in Texas destroyed the power grid of the state and left millions of people without safe water, leaving even hospitals without access to water. Texas winter power outages left minority areas in the dark previously at disproportionate rates, while wealthy residents had access to electricity and water. last research the state’s power grids show it is completely unprepared for extreme weather.

Texas Water Quality Experts invoke the state’s aging infrastructure as a source of ongoing problems and concerns about access to clean drinking water, especially in rural areas and communities of color. Prior to Houston’s recent water boil notice, the rural east Texas town of Zalla struggled this month with a nearly two-week-long boil notice caused by a glitch. infrastructure there are 700 people in the city. In 2020, Houston received another boil water warning after main water pipe broke.

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