All Houston public schools will be closed Monday after the city issued a boil water notice Sunday evening due to a loss of water pressure at a treatment plant, officials said.
Houston Independent School District further said Twitter it is monitoring the situation and will provide further updates on Monday.
“Earlier today, water pressure dropped below the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the East Water Purification Plant,” a Sunday news release from the city said.
Water for drinking, cooking, washing hands and faces, and brushing teeth must be boiled for at least two minutes before use to destroy all potentially harmful bacteria and other microbes. said the city.
Houston’s drinking and wastewater utility serves about 2.2 million customers a day, according to the utility’s website.
Water pressure has been restored, but the boil water advisory will likely remain in place until at least Tuesday morning so proper testing can be done, Houston Public Works said.
A water sampling plan has been sent to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), according to Erin Jones, Houston Public Works Public Information Officer. That water testing plan could be approved by the TCEQ Sunday night or Monday morning, she said.
Once the water sampling plan is approved, the water samples must be collected by the City of Houston Public Works, which then sends the water samples to TCEQ, and the samples must sit in a TCEQ lab for 18 hours to see if anything grows on them, Jones said.
If nothing grows on the water samples, the state will give the city the green light to lift the boil water order. The city must wait on the state and cannot lift the boil order independently, according to Jones.
If something grows on those water samples, then lifting the order will obviously take longer, Jones added.
“We are working closely with the City of Houston and stand ready to review the city’s water test results and offer any technical assistance that may be needed,” TCEQ said in a statement.