How do I use water when a Boil Water Advisory has been issued?

    The water should NOT be used for drinking, making infant formula and juices, making ice, washing fruits, vegetables or brushing teeth. For these purposes, boiled or treated or bottled water should be used. The water should be brought to a rapid rolling boil for one minute. If there are children in the home, place the pot on the back burner to avoid scalds. Boil only as much water in the pot as you can comfortably lift without spilling. Discard all ice made previously and disinfect the ice cube trays. Make ice using cooled water that was previously boiled.

    What is the purpose of boiling or treating the water?

    Boiling the water for at least one minute destroys disease-causing microorganisms (pathogens) and is considered potable (safe) after cooling.

    Can I take a bath or shower?

    Yes, you can take baths or showers with untreated water. However, young children should be supervised to ensure they do not drink the water.

    Can I use the water for handwashing?

    Yes, you can use the untreated water for handwashing.  

    How else can I disinfect my hands?

    If your hands are not visibly dirty, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

    Can the dishwasher be used to clean utensils?

    Yes, your household dishwasher can continue to be used to wash utensils as normal. If you handwash dishes in the sink, you can continue to wash with soap and water as normal. There is no need to use boiled water to wash utensils.

    Should I change the way I’m doing laundry?

    No. Continue doing laundry the way you usually do.

    Is the water safe to fill wading pools for children?

    No. The water is not safe for use in wading pools or for water play because children may swallow it.

    I have a water filtration device installed. Does this make the water safe for drinking or cooking?

    No. Filtered water should also be brought to a rolling boil for one minute before drinking or using it for cooking. The units should be back-washed or disinfected after the Boil Water Advisory has been rescinded.

    Can I brush my teeth with untreated water?

    No. Use cooled water that was previously boiled for brushing teeth. Approved bottled water is also acceptable.

    Can I drink coffee from a coffee maker?

    No. Coffee makers do not reach a boil (100 degrees Celsius) for 1 minute. Use previously boiled water or bottled water in your coffee machine.