Baton Rouge – State health officials have issued an update to conditions of water systems in Southeast Louisiana.
Residents of parishes seriously impacted by Hurricane Katrina are reminded not to drink, make ice from, brush teeth, prepare or rinse food with tap water unless it has been properly disinfected until further notice. As of this afternoon, the City of Westwego's water system has been sampled and found to be free from bacteriological contamination. As such, the boil notice has been lifted for that community. However, homeowners are reminded of the need to flush their own house lines prior to use.
Due to pressure loss in the water systems, it has been determined that some water systems may not be safe for consumption at this time. At this time water systems through out Southeast Louisiana are notifying their customers of the status of their water systems. Health officials have been notified of a loss in pressure to over 400 water systems in the following parishes:
East Baton Rouge
St. John the Baptist
Therefore, health officials have issued a boil notice for water systems in these areas, effective immediately. For a complete listing of the water systems that are under this boil order, please visit our website atwww.dhhemergencynews.com .
Health officials are cautioning the users of the water systems to disinfect their water before consuming or using for food preparation by any of 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. The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a bottle or pouring it from one container to another.
Users who are unable to boil water are advised to use the following methods to disinfect their water before consuming or using for food preparation:
- If the water is clear, mix 1/8 teaspoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of water and let it stand for 30 minutes prior to consumption. If the water is cloudy or colored, use ¼ teaspoon per gallon of water. Be sure to mix thoroughly. If the treated water has too strong a chlorine taste, it can be made more palatable by allowing the water to stand exposed to the air for a few hours or by pouring it from one clean container to another several times.
- If the water is clear, mix five drops of common household tincture of iodine from the medicine cabinet or first aid package to each quart of clear water and let it stand for at least 30 minutes prior to consumption. If the water is cloudy or colored, use 10 drops to each quart of water.
Health officials note that boiling is the most effective method of disinfection of water particularly for people who are severely immunocompromised (infected with HIV/AIDS, cancer and transplant patients taking immunosuppressive drugs, or people born with a weakened immune system) and for infants and elderly who wish to take extra precautions.
The boil notice will remain in effect until rescinded by an authorized representative of the Department of Health and Hospitals.
For a list of water systems affected by this notice, please visithttp://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/publications.asp?ID=145&Detail=703