NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Taps in New Orleans briefly went dry Sunday after a boiler’s heating flame went out of control in the immense steam generator that powers pumps for the city’s water treatment plant.
Marcia St. Martin, executive director of the city’s Sewerage and Water Board, said the outage lasted less than 20 minutes Sunday morning. Twitter came alive with residents bemoaning the loss about 9 a.m. Central time, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu tweeted to his followers that the city was looking into the matter.
The loss of pressure opened the way for possible contamination and water samples are being taken citywide, she said.
She said all sample collection should be complete by Sunday afternoon, and results should be available about 24 hours later. It takes that long to detect high levels of intestinal bacteria that could cause diarrhea.
Until the results are in, officials said, more than 300,000 residents on the Mississippi River’s east bank should boil water for drinking, brushing their teeth, preparing food or anything else that might bring tap water into their bodies.
“For most of us, baths are fine,” city health officer Karen DeSalvo said. The exceptions are people with low immune systems, open wounds, babies or small children. Infants and small children should be given sponge baths.
Most of New Orleans, including the French Quarter and Central Business District, is on the east bank. The treatment plant there provides about 135 million gallons of drinking water a day, compared with 11 million from the west bank treatment plant.
In October, city officials were criticized because they did not put out a notice that tap water might be contaminated until four hours after a brief shutdown at the east bank plant.
On Sunday, Water pressure at the main gauge had never fallen below the state’s threshold of 15 pounds per square inch for boil advisories, but a precautionary notice was issued after hours of consultation with state Department of Health and Hospitals officials, city spokesman Ryan Berni wrote in an email.
A power problem in November 2010 also created similar conditions.
Across the city Sunday, some residents and businesses prepared water supplies to use under the boil advisory. At Zeus’ Place, a pet boarding and daycare business, owner Michelle Ingram said she was using bottled water for the 80 dogs and 7 cats there.
“We were sitting on 20 gallons of water and I just got 21 more,” she said. “Which should last us through tomorrow afternoon — and hopefully we’ll know then whether or not the boil water order is still on.”
In December 2010, after a brief power failure that did not require a boil water advisory, officials said that had been the fourth failure since the facility opened in 1903. All four were after Hurricane Katrina.
About $131 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency has gone into work at the plant since Hurricane Katrina, St. Martin said.
She said the city is about to begin $141 million in post-Katrina work to improve and stabilize the power system with FEMA hazard mitigation grants.
The FEMA work will include installing water towers that could keep pressure high in the transmission pipes in case of a power failure. The city currently has only two, one in the farthest reaches of its west bank area and the other in eastern New Orleans.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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