Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEWORLEANS-- Who is most affected by tap water that could have become contaminated with bacteria or viruses?

Some restaurants decided to close, and public health experts say some people are more at risk.

'We're closing just because everything requires water. We need to close. We don't want anyone getting sick,' said Donna Scoggins, owner of Village Coffee and Tea Company Uptown on Freret Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Even though the pressure was lost at the main water plant at 8:30 a.m., Scoggins got word of the boil water advisory in the afternoon.

'I got an email actually, and I'm like, I'm trying to Google it and I can't find it anymore,' said Scoggins.

A Tulane student in the coffee shop said he heard about potential problems by email after the fact.

'I had tap water early this morning when I woke up,' said Tulane sophomore Lee Parker.

As a precaution, doctors say bring drinking water to a boil, then let it roll for at least a minute before letting it cool down.

'Healthy people probably not as much of a problem as somebody who might be immunosuppressed. Somebody who's getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer, somebody who has HIV AIDS, I would be much more concerned. They ought to be drinking bottled water anyway,' explained Dr. Jim Diaz, professor and program director of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the LSU School of Public Health.

Dr. Diaz also says that as we age, our immune systems weaken, so seniors are more at risk to contaminated water and should always be drinking bottled water.

But he said people who bathed should be at no risk.

'I wouldn't be too worried about the shower because, remember, that's coming from your hot water heater, which is 120 degrees Fahrenheit or maybe a little bit higher. And I'm not as worried about bath or shower water as I would be about drinking water or water that you're using to brush your teeth with or clean food with. So they temporarily ought to use bottled water,' said Dr. Diaz.

He says one thing that is often overlooked is ice. People should turn icemakers off until the boil water advisory is lifted.

Read or Share this story: