District of Houston residents spent last week and into the weekend boiling drinking water in response to a test result showing a high coliform count at one of the District’s two reservoirs.
The routine test was done from a sample taken Oct. 29 with the results known Nov. 5, prompting the District to issue the notice.
District chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck said the District believes the high count resulted from a water turnover issue in the reservoir, called Reservoir 2, as that was the only location in which test results were outside of drinking water standards.
District of Houston crews then drained, re-chlorinated and refilled the water reservoir.
Testing protocol required that two samples be taken a minimum of 24 hours apart in order for a boil water notice to be lifted.
A Northern Health Authority medical health officer had to check the samples and the first sample was cleared Nov. 8 with the second sample being cleared Nov. 10.
With the all clear being given, residents were then told to flush their pipes.
“To flush your plumbing, run all your cold water faucets on full for at least five minutes each,” the District said in a notice.
“If your service connectioin is long or complex (like an apartment building) consider flushing for a longer period. Your building superintendent or landlord should be able to advise you on longer flushing times.”
The District also advices people with hot water heaters, water coolers, in-line filters or other appliances with direct water connections or water tanks to run enough water to replace at least one full volume of lines and tanks.
Water filters should also be replaced as they may be contaminated.
“We will be reviewing the design and operating parameters of this facility going forward to mitigate the risk of future advisories being issued,” Pinchbeck said.