NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The most widespread boil-water order since Hurricane Katrina has been issued for the east bank of New Orleans, affecting more than 300,000 people.
Robert Jackson, director of community and intergovernmental relations for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the order was issued after a mechanical and electrical failure at a water treatment plant caused pressure to drop.
He said the order is precautionary, but residents should be prepared to boil all water for cooking and other uses until at least Sunday night. He says no one has been sickened by the water, but officials are still testing the water to ensure no bacteria formed while the pressure was down.
"We're taking tests now. We'll have results throughout the weekend," he said. Testing may extend into the week if necessary.
There water is not discolored, but all residents — along with restaurants, hotels and other public places — should keep boiling water until further notice, Jackson said. He said the order was issued out of an "abundance of caution."
The area includes the city's French Quarter and Lower 9th Ward areas.
Sofia A. Mannos of The Associated Press contributed to this report from Washington.
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