Boil Water Advisories 101
What is a boil water advisory?
A boil water advisory is issued during emergencies when there is damage to a water line or when the central water distribution system becomes compromised. Natural disasters, including hurricanes and floods, and incidents such as broken water pipes, chemical spills, or low water pressure cause emergencies. The advisory is essential whenever the water supply risks microbiological contamination.
When you are under a boil water advisory, it is crucial to follow specific guidelines to ensure your safety. Drinking only boiled water, bottled water, or properly disinfected water is necessary to avoid contact with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that might be present in the water supply. Common contaminants of concern during a boil water advisory include E. coli, giardia, and Cryptosporidium. While these contaminants are usually not life-threatening, they can cause severe illness, making it essential to take boil water advisories seriously and adhere to the recommended procedures.
If you find yourself under a boil water advisory, follow these steps to ensure the safety of your water for you and your family:
- Bring the water to a full rolling boil for at least one minute (or three minutes if you are at an altitude greater than 6,562 feet). This process will eliminate harmful microorganisms.
- Allow the boiled water to cool naturally and store it in a clean, covered container.
- It is advisable to use boiled and cooled water for drinking purposes for both yourself and your pets, as well as for washing produce, preparing baby formula, making ice, and brushing your teeth until the advisory is lifted.
If you have any further questions about boil water advisories, our team of water experts can assist you.