City of Houston

Houston lifts boil water advisory after test samples meet safe standards

The city’s boil water notice had been in place since Sunday night, after a power outage at a purification plant caused water pressure to drop below acceptable levels.

Water Shopping
Daisy Espinoza / Houston Public Media
The Joe V's on West Fuqua stocked up on water. The store had a product limit of 4 per customer on Monday.

The City of Houston lifted its boil water notice Tuesday morning, saying test samples of its tap water met regulatory standards and was determined to be safe for drinking and other uses.

The city issued the boil water advisory Sunday night – several hours after a power outage at its East Water Purification Plant caused the water pressure to dip below acceptable levels – impacting an estimated 2.2 million people served by Houston Public Works’ water system. Residents in some other nearby municipalities also were affected.

Now that the advisory has been lifted, Houstonians no longer need to boil tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking or to make ice.

“Water quality testing submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has confirmed that tap water meets all regulatory standards and is safe to drink,” the city said in a Tuesday morning news release.

The city advised residents, along with schools, businesses and nursing homes, to flush their water systems by running cold water through all faucets for at least one minute, to clean automatic ice makers by making and discarding several batches of ice and to run water softeners through a regeneration cycle.

Other suggestions include running water from dispensers in refrigerators, running an empty dishwasher cycle and to get rid of water in humidifiers, CPAP machines and other electric devices that collect water.

Residents with questions about their tap water can call the city at 713-837-0311.

The boil water notice prompted multiple Houston-area school districts, including Houston ISD, to call off classes Monday. Houston ISD also is closed Tuesday, having made that decision on Monday before the advisory was lifted.