Water line breaks and repairs are the most common reason for issuing a boil water advisory. Other circumstances that warrant an advisory include loss of pressure in a significant portion of the distribution system.

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Frequently asked questions

Why are boil advisories necessary?

Boil advisories protect residents from possible contamination of the water due to a loss of adequate pressure in the water main. Boil advisories are issued when water lines do not maintain adequate levels of pressure due to planned water main repairs or replacement, or because of an emergency, such as a water main break. When water lines lose pressure, they may be subject to soils or debris entering the system.

Why didn’t I have more notice of the boil advisory?

If it is a planned repair or replacement you will be given 48 hour notification. If it is due to a water main break, our crews work very hard to make the necessary repairs without losing pressure in the lines so citizens do not have to be inconvenienced with a boil advisory. Unfortunately, sometimes losing pressure cannot be avoided, regardless of their efforts, and a boil advisory must be issued.

How do I know when my water is safe to drink again?

Boil advisories are issued for specified amounts of time. This time allows for thorough testing of the water prior to the expiration of the boil advisory. The boil advisory extends throughout the period of disruption, repair of the line, and the testing of the water after repairs have been made.

What should I do if I have been issued a boil advisory?

Run cold water taps to flush lines, then boil water for drinking and cooking.

  1. Flush all taps used for drinking and cooking by running cold faucets for at least 3 minutes.
  2. Boil the water for 3 minutes and cool before using (or use bottled water). Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making formula, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and preparing food until this advisory expires on Monday 06/08/2020 at 5 p.m. You may resume normal tap water use at that time unless notified that the advisory is extended.
  3. If your water appears discolored, avoid washing clothes or using the hot water taps until you have run the cold water faucets and the water clears.

For what uses should I boil the water?

Water that will be used for drinking, brushing teeth, making ice, washing dishes, making formula, and for all food preparation needs to be boiled for 3 minutes prior to using while under a boil advisory.

Can I use my coffee maker, water, or soda dispenser?

Do not use if they are directly connected to your water supply. Use bottled water or water that has been boiled or disinfected for making coffee and ice. Also, filters don’t work for removing bacteria. Once you have been notified that the boil advisory has been lifted, these devices should be cleaned, disinfected and flushed according to the operator’s manual for the device.

How should I was my hands during a boil advisory?

Vigorous hand washing with soap and your tap water is safe for basic personal hygiene. However, if you are washing your hands to prepare food, you should use boiled (then cooled) water, disinfected or bottled water with hand washing soap.

Why is my water rusty?

It is normal to experience air and/or rust in tap water once water service has been restored. Please run each of the cold water faucets until the water runs clear. Avoid washing clothes or using hot water taps until you have done so.

Is there lead in affected water?

Water system disruptions may also cause discolored water and/or potentially a temporary increase in lead levels in drinking water. As a standard practice the USEPA recommends the following actions to reduce possible lead exposure in drinking water:

  1. If water has not been used for several hours, run the tap until there is a noticeable temperature drop. Then run water for 30 seconds to 3 minutes before using for drinking and cooking. This helps flush water that may have contained lead leached from plumbing.
  2. Use cold water for cooking, drinking, and preparing baby formula. Boiling the water will not reduce lead, but running the cold water faucets will.
  3. Clean your faucet aerator regularly.
  4. For additional information visit drinktap.org or epa.gov/safewater/lead.