Boil Water Advisories

Boil Water Advisory Information

If the water company issues a boil water advisory, you should use bottled water or boil tap water. This is because a boil water advisory means your community’s water has, or could have, germs that can make you sick.

  • Use bottled or boiled water to prepare and cook food and for you and your pets to drink.  Avoid bathing of pets unless water is boiled or bottled.  Typically, livestock care would not need boiled or bottled water.
  • If bottled water isn’t available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1-2 minutes.  Allow to cool.
  • Boil tap water even if it is filtered (for example, by a home water filter or a pitcher that filters water).
  • Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.
  • When using baby formula, use bottled water or ready-to-use formula, if possible.

 Handwashing:  In many cases, you can use tap water and soap to wash hands during a boil water advisory. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 Bathing and Showering:

  • Be careful not to swallow any water when bathing or showering.
  • Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

 Brushing teeth:  Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water. Do not use tap water that you have not boiled first.

 Washing dishes:

  • If possible, use disposable plates, cups, and utensils during a boil water advisory.
  • Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66°Celsius), or the dishwater has a sanitizing cycle.
  • Sanitize all baby bottles.
  • To wash dishes by hand:
  • Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
  • In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
  • Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
  • Let the dishes air dry completely before using again.

 Laundry/Watering Garden/Houseplants:  It is safe to wash clothes as usual.  You can use tap water for household plants and gardens.

For further information:

Search:  Boil Water Advisory | Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene-related Emergencies & and Outbreaks | Healthy Water | CDC

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