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The City of New Orleans

Freezing Temperatures  Updates

Jan 03
10:46 AM
Freezing Temperatures

Sewerage & Water Board urges residents to immediately turn off running water

With temperatures above freezing today, the Sewerage & Water Board is urging residents to immediately turn off their faucets to conserve water. Overuse across the east bank during this cold snap has forced the agency to reduce water pressure.

To keep up with the high demand, water pressure across the system was reduced this morning to around 62 pounds-per-square-inch. This is a typical response to manage stress on the system during such events as freezes and large water main breaks.

Normal average water pressure typically hovers around 68-72 psi.

Cloud cover overnight and sunshine this morning kept temperatures above freezing today, but they are expected to drop again this evening.

There is no concern at this time that pressure will drop low enough to trigger a boil-water advisory. Such advisories are issued after water pressure has dropped below 15 psi.

If residents must run their water to keep pipes from freezing, the Sewerage & Water Board urges them to do so only after temperatures drop below the freezing point: 32 degrees Fahrenheit. They should run only the faucet farthest from their property’s main stop valve. The stream should be no more than 1/16 of an inch wide, about “pencil lead thin.”

The high demand can limit the New Orleans Fire Department’s ability to draw water necessary to fight fires. The Sewerage & Water Board will remain in constant communication with the department and stands prepared to respond to firefighters’ needs throughout this cold snap. 

Residents are encouraged to call 52-WATER to report any water emergencies.