NEW ORLEANS (AP) — People in most of New Orleans have been told to boil tapwater before drinking it or doing anything else that might get it into their bodies.
The boil order from the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board covers the east bank, where about 300,000 people live, but not the Algiers area across the Mississippi River.
It will last at least until Tuesday afternoon, when results of tests for bacteria will be known. The water samples must incubate at least 24 hours.
Officials say the boil order is a precaution because the main treatment plant lost power for a few minutes Monday morning during maintenance work. Low pressure in water pipes makes it possible for contamination to get in.
The order means east bank residents should not drink, make ice from, brush teeth, bathe or shower, prepare or rinse food with tap water unless it has been kept at a rolling boil for a full minute.
A power failure at the same plant in November 2010 prompted a similar order.