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Houston issues boil water notice after treatment plant power outage

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By Arathy Somasekhar

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Houston schools were closed and some elective surgeries delayed on Monday after a city water treatment plant temporarily lost power and residents were urged to boil water through at least Tuesday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he expects to hear from the state environmental agency by late Monday or early Tuesday morning on if the boil water notice can be rescinded.

The city said it believes the water is safe, but asked residents to boil water used for drinking, cooking, bathing, and brushing their teeth.

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There is no indication that any contaminant had entered the system, said Carol Haddock, director of Houston Public Works.

The notice came from an abundance of caution and was required by state law after pressure fell below emergency regulatory levels. A ground trip and current overload caused a transformers and an electric feeder to go offline and a backup transformer at a water purification plant failed, Turner said.

The plant provides water to the city and some adjacent regions. Regular maintenance was conducted on the facility, the mayor added. Water samples were awaiting tests on Monday.

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(Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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