Boil water notice rescinded for northwest Harris County following additional testing for E. coli after sampling error, officials say

Water boil notice issued for northwest Harris County

HOUSTON – A boil water notice for parts of northwest Harris County has been rescinded following further testing results of its water supply, according to the Harris County MUD No. 24.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the Harris County MUD No. 24. to issue the water boil after a water sample came back positive for E. Coli bacteria in the water supply on Saturday, according to Harris County MUD No. 24.

But in a statement to KPRC 2, Howard Wilhite, with the MUD’s water utility provider, H20 Innovations, said one of 15 samples collected throughout the district showed E. coli, but when it was retested, it showed as positive for coliform bacteria, not E. coli.

“The state required the boil water notice to be issued at 3 p.m. on Monday. We posted notices on the website, posted signs in the district, and did a messaging blast. The disinfectant residual was adequate to kill of pathogenic organisms so suspect sampling error,” Wilhite said.

In a statement posted to MUD 24′s website earlier, officials said the system was resampled and results for Saturday showed total positive for the bacteria. Bacterial contamination can occur when increased run-off enters the drinking water source. It can also happen due to a break in the distribution system or a failure in the water treatment process.

Officials said people living in the advisory area should bring their water to a rolling boil for two minutes before consuming it, using it to wash their hands or face or brush their teeth. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

E. coli is a bacteria that indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste, which can cause symptoms of diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a greater health risk for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

The public water system said it has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of Wednesday.

Here is a map of the impacted area:

Harris County MUD No. 24. (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

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