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Water conservation urged in New Orleans as evacuated residents return

New Orleans' Sewerage and Water Board on Monday (Sept. 6) urged residents to make water...
New Orleans' Sewerage and Water Board on Monday (Sept. 6) urged residents to make water conservation efforts until the city's wastewater system is operating at full capacity.(S&WB)
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 12:20 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As evacuated residents begin returning to New Orleans in larger numbers eight days after Hurricane Ida, the city’s Sewerage and Water Board on Monday (Sept. 6) asked for water conservation to protect a sewage system not yet back to full operational capacity.

“We are urging the public to be extremely mindful when using water,” the agency said in a tweet. “Please limit using large appliances such as dishwashers that are not water efficient, and washing machines. Focus on general water conservation.”

Residents additionally were asked to shorten their duration of shower use and reduce the number of toilet flushes where possible. to reduce wastewater volume until all systems are back up.

The SWB said 67 sewer pump stations are operational, but only 35 are confirmed to be again running on Entergy New Orleans power and not emergency generators. It said the East Bank Wastewater Treatment Plant was back on Entergy power, but stressed, “We’re still working to bring full operations back online.”

With rain expected in the area Monday through Wednesday, the city’s ability to absorb a heavy rain event without significant flooding remains a question.

In another tweet, the SWB said that Turbines 4, 5 and 6 were available for use in the next rain event, after Entergy power was restored to the Carrollton Water Plant. It said seven of the city’s drainage pump stations currently have Entergy power and that more were expected to come online throughout the day Monday. The agency said it has pressed Entergy New Orleans for status updates on five other drainage pump stations.

The SWB also reminded residents that, unlike Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish is not under a precautionary boil water advisory. The agency said residents returning home after several days away may want to run their water for a few minutes to clear stagnant water from their lines before drinking or cooking with it..

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