A boil-water advisory
is a public health advisory given by government or health authorities to communities when a community's drinking water is, or could be, contaminated by pathogens.
Keep using boiled water until the Health Department or your water system tells you it’s safe to use tap water. If you stop without being told it is safe, you and your family could be at risk for getting sick.
The loss of pressure in the water system may have allowed ground water and microorganisms to contaminate the system.
Under a boil water advisory, it is recommended that water be boiled for several minutes in advance of consumption or use, in order to kill off as much of the bacteria and viral contamination as possible.
A common cause is a loss of pressure due to a failure of a pumping station. While loss of pressure does not necessarily mean the water has been contaminated, it does mean that potential pathogenic materials in contact with water supply plumbing may be able to diffuse into the system and thus be carried to consumers. The normal pressure of the water supply system would prevent this inward diffusion, as any leaks would force contaminants away from the supply.
Bring your water to a rolling boil for one minute to use water for:
- Brushing your teeth
- Making ice
- Washing your hands before eating
- Washing dishes, cooking surfaces, raw foods, or rinsing food
- Preparing other drinks like baby bottles, kool-aid, sun tea, ice tea, frozen juices etc.
Tips on Boiling Water
- Fill a pot or pan with cold water.
- Start timing after the water boils. (You may see little bubbles forming at the edges of the pot; these are just air bubbles from the water; when steady streams of big bubbles are sent up from the bottom of the pot, your water is starting to boil.)
- Boil for one full minute.
- Boil as much water in a pot as you can comfortably lift without spilling. Caution should always be exercised when handling boiling water to minimize the risk of burns.
- Provide adequate protection against contamination of the water after boiling.
NOTE: Boiling water is the preferred method to get rid of microorganisms.
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