New Orleans’ water pressure is recovering, but ‘occasional fluctuations’ possible: S&WB
New Orleans’ water system on the east bank is steadily recovering pressure following a cold snap last week that prompted a boil-water advisory, according to a news release circulated Sunday afternoon (Jan. 21) by Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office.
But the mayor’s office says Sewerage & Water Board customers could continue to see "occasional fluctuations" in water pressure as normal activities mostly resume throughout the city Monday.
New Orleans was among numerous cities and parishes in Louisiana whose water systems were slapped last week by an arctic cold front, which the Louisiana Department of Health said had prompted 84 boil advisories throughout the state by Friday afternoon.
A precautionary boil-water advisory issued last Wednesday night for New Orleans East was expanded to include the entire east bank Thursday morning, as officials said leaks from burst pipes and heavy faucet use caused water pressure to plummet to unsafe levels.
By Friday night, the boil advisory was lifted for the east bank except for New Orleans East, which remained under an advisory until Saturday evening.
But city and utility officials still urged residents and businesses to "dramatically limit" water use over the weekend despite the lifted advisory, since spiking customer use and ongoing leaks continued to cause problems for pressure levels.
In Sunday’s news release, the mayor’s office said customer restraint and leak fixes had allowed pressure to rise.
Joe Sensebe, the utility’s interim manager, said Thursday that pressure levels in the city’s water system began falling Wednesday around 3:30 p.m., under strain from leaks caused by burst frozen pipes and heavy customer faucet use.
10 logged a pressure drop below the safety threshold of 15 pounds per square inch, prompting a boil advisory for New Orleans East.
The early Wednesday morning temperature at New Orleans Lakefront Airport reached a record low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service.