The city of Bellaire is ordering residents tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 16) to boil their tap water before using, to use bottled water — or run the risk of being infected with harmful bacteria.
The order is a result of one misfortune after another with the city’s water supply since an unprecedented winter storm paralyzed the area.
According to the city alert, through its PrepareBellaire warning system, one of the city’s water wells “went down” Tuesday evening in temperatures that continued to hover around freezing, and another well was operating at reduced capacity. Half of Bellaire’s water normally comes from the city of Houston, but the weather emergency has cut off that service.
All of this has led to water pressure in the Bellaire system suddenly falling low enough below recommended levels to trigger the boil-water notice.
Any tap water intended for drinking, cooking, making ice, or to be used for personal hygiene including washing and brushing teeth should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil for two minutes and then cooled to a safe level for use.
This warning is especially serious for children, seniors and anyone with a weakened immune system.
Once safe levels have been restored, Bellaire will cancel the boil order.