BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's health department has called boil advisories for nine water districts in south Louisiana. Until the water is tested and found safe to drink, people in those areas should disinfect water before drinking, cooking, brushing teeth or preparing food with it.
Late Wednesday, the Department of Health and Hospitals issued a boil advisory in West Baton Rouge Waterworks District 2 because a fallen tree broke a water main, and in The Alton Water System and Crossgates Ben Thomas Road in St. Tammany Parish and the town of Roseland in Tangipahoa Parish because of pressure losses caused by power outages.
There also are state advisories in Schriever, St. John Water District No. 1 in St. John the Baptist Parish and in the Plaquemines Parish towns of Dalcour, Port Sulphur and East Point-a-la-Hache. And Terrebonne Parish authorities called a boil advisory for the entire parish because of cloudy water.
Several of the first five advisories were in areas evacuated because of floods.
The state advisory in Schriever is because Tropical Storm Isaac interrupted water treatment. Water systems flooded in St. John Water District No. 1 in St. John the Baptist Parish and in the Plaquemines Parish towns of Dalcour, Port Sulphur and East Point-a-la-Hache.
To disinfect water, either boil it for one minute in a clean container or treat it with unscented liquid chlorine bleach and let it stand for at least 30 minutes. Water coming clean from the tap can be treated with one-quarter teaspoon of bleach per gallon; if it's cloudy or colored, use one-quarter teaspoon of bleach per gallon.
Boiling is the most effective method. The Department of Health and Hospitals says water for the elderly, young children, and people with compromised immune systems should be boiled rather than treated with chlorine.