Boil Water Advisory Information and the proper way to disinfect your water

Local departments and state or local agencies issue drinking water advisories when they believe water quality is or may be compromised. Advisories tell individuals, schools, hospitals, businesses, and others about the situation and how to take immediate action.


What do I do if I get a Boil Water Notice?

Under a Precautionary Boil Water Notice, all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes should be boiled first. A rolling boil of one minute is sufficient. As an alternative bottled water may be used.

How long does the notice stay in effect?

A Precautionary Boil Water Notice will remain in effect until lab tests show that the water is free of pathogenic bacteria and is safe to drink, which is typically a minimum of two days. At that time, a retraction notice is posted.

When is a Boil Water Advisory recommended?

Boil Water Advisories are issued when there is known contamination of the water supply or when there is a risk of contamination of the water supply.

What is the proper way to disinfect my water so it is safe to drink?

The best treatment method is boiling. Boiling water kills harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites (freezing will not disinfect water).

  • Bring water to a full rolling boil for at least 1 minute to kill most infectious organisms (germs).

For areas without power, disinfect tap water by adding 8 drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) of plain unscented household bleach to a gallon of water.

  • Thoroughly mix the solution and allow the water to stand for 30 minutes.
  • If the water is cloudy, repeat the process.
  • Use a container with a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking. This will prevent re-contamination.

How long is boiled water safe to drink?

As long as the water container is protected with a cap or a cover, it remains safe to drink.

How will I know when the Boil Water Advisory has been lifted?

The community will be notified when the water is safe to drink without boiling. It will be communicated through social media channels, local media (TV & Radio), institutions (schools, hospitals), restaurants, and community centers. Contact your local public works office with questions and inquiries. Click here for our states Boil Alert news feeds.

What do I do after the Advisory has been lifted?

  • Turn on your tap slowly and run the water to flush water pipes for five minutes.
  • You may need to clean appliances such as water softeners, filter units, water dispensers and ice makers. Read the owner's manual for directions to clean appliances.

Boil Water Instructions

  • Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute.
  • Let cool for 15 minutes before drinking.
  • Store the cooled water in a clean container with a cover.

Unable to Boil Water? Disinfect With Bleach:

  • Use unscented bleach to disinfect water supplies.
  • Mix 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of water.
  • Mix well and let stand for 30 minutes before use.

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