U.S. Water News Online
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals has a warning for anyone returning to New Orleans -- enter
at your own risk.
"The two things that are absolutely necessary to ensure public
health -- clean drinking water and proper sewage systems -- simply
are not available in the east bank area of New Orleans at this time,"
said Dr. Fred Cerise, the department secretary. "People who re-enter
the city may be exposed to diseases such as e. Coli, salmonella or
diarrhea illness if they do not allow time for the necessary
inspections to ensure public health and safety."
Jefferson Parish, the Algiers area on New Orleans' west bank, and
the Belle Chasse area of Plaquemines Parish meet public health
standards for reopening, he said in a news release.
But on New Orleans' east bank, he said, tap water may still be
laden with bacteria that could be swallowed if the water is used to
bathe, brush teeth, wash hands, drink or cook without boiling it
Cerise said people going to restaurants or other places that sell
food should look for an official placard showing that it has been
inspected and approved. He said his department has assigned extra
workers to inspect public water systems, restaurants, grocery stores
and other businesses.
But Cerise said he advised the general public not to return until
the health department certifies tap water as safe to drink
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