Charles D. Taylor, Student Writer

A boil water notice advisory was issued for the City of Houston on Sunday November 27, 2022 after the city’s main water system had experienced a power outage at a water treatment facility that had affected 2.3 million residents.

At 10:30am Sunday, the water pressure dropped below the city’s required minimum of 20 PSI, according to The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The problem started at the East Water Purification Plant, and city residents weren’t notified of the situation until six hours after the initial outage.

The city’s water pressure system was never at zero, just below the regulatory limit said City of Houston water director Yvonne Williams Forrest. According to Houston Mayor Sylvester Tuner’s office, here is a timeline of the events that led up to the advisory being issued on Sunday.

10:30 am – East Water Purification Plants 1&2 lose power

Plant 3 loses power, 14 sensors below 20 PSI for less than 2 minutes, 2 sensors below 20 PSI for 30 minutes, 5 sensors never fell below 20 PSI

12:15 p.m. – Power restored to plant 3

3:30p.m. – All sensors back to 35 PSI.

Mayor Turner said that the backup generators were not turned on because of the power failure at the plants. Many area residents were not happy of this issue and were asking questions as to why it had taken so long for the notice to be issued.

As a result of the advisory, many school districts, including Houston Community College, as well as many area businesses had cancelled operations so that both city and state officials could conduct sample testing for 18 hours to see if any bacteria would grow.

After the testing was completed, and no further problem’s existed, the all clear signal was given to area residents just before 7am on November 29 when it was determined by city and state officials that the water system was deemed safe to use.