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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEWORLEANS-- The Orleans Parish Sewerage & Water Board says its boil water advisory for people who live on the East Bank of Orleans Parish will be in place at least through Tuesday afternoon.

By then the agency says it will know if the advisory can be lifted or should continue.

'Nacho chicken, coming up!' said Gustavo Naar, an employee at Juan's Flying Burrito on Magazine Street.

It was business as usual at the popular restaurant on Monday night -- well, with a few exceptions.

'Basically what we're doing differently, all the water we're always boiling making sure it's fresh. We had ice delivered to us so we're not using normal ice,' said Naar, who also says customers are receiving bottled water instead of water from the tap.

After the water board issued a precautionary boil water advisory on Monday afternoon, the business didn't want to take chances. The kitchen is using boiled water only.

'We've been working around it. You gotta keep the customers happy, flowing around it and everything,' said Naar.

The water board says it experienced a three-minute power outage early Monday morning at its main water purification facility on Claiborne Avenue. Crews were switching over boilers when electricity was lost.

'This is such a serious event on both sides of the equation. One, you don't want to overreact too quickly, and the other time you don't want to under react to sharply,' said Orleans Parish Sewerage & Water Board Executive Director Marcia St. Martin.

After four and a half hours of collecting data on water pressure levels across Orleans Parish, St. Martin says the decision was made to issue a precautionary boil water alert.

The water board says some customers saw their water levels drop below 20 psi. The normal level is 68 psi.

Now tests are underway to make sure that the water supply for east bank residents is not tainted by bacteria.

'This is very precautionary, our gut is that the water is fine. Our professional opinion is the water is fine,' said St. Martin during a news conference.

This is not the first time this water purification plant lost power. Two years ago it was the same story.

For some east bank residents this latest boil water advisory shines a spotlight on the city's aging water system.

'It doesn't bother me immediately, but it speaks to the fact our infrastructure could really use some upgrading. This is just one of those effects of that,' said Orleans Parish resident Glen Steeb.

Until those test results come back on Tuesday afternoon, the water board warns people on the east bank to boil their tap water before drinking it, making ice from it, brushing their teeth with it, bathing in it or preparing food with it.

Medical experts tell Eyewitness News that it is OK to take a hot shower.

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