BOIL WATER ADVISORY
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
In the event that a boil water advisory has been issued, as a precautionary measure, residents are advised to:
What precautions are necessary?
- Purchase bottled water for drinking and cooking OR purify all water for drinking and cooking
- Boiling is the safest method for purification
- Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes
- Let cool for 5 minutes
- Pour back and forth between two clean containers to improve taste
- Disinfection with household bleach
- Use only regular household liquid bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite
- Do not use scented bleaches, color safe bleaches, or bleaches with added cleansers
- Add no more than 16 drops of bleach for every gallon of water, stir well, and let stand for 30 minutes
- Water should have a slight bleach odor; if not, add 3 more drops of bleach, stir, and let stand for 15 minutes
- Distillation of water
- Fill a pot half full with water
- Tie a cup to the handle of the pot’s lid
- Place the lid upside down on the pot-the cup should be right side up and not touching the water
- Boil water in the pot for 20 minutes
- The water that drips from the lid into the cup is distilled and clean
- Water for hygiene
- Water does not need to be boiled for normal hand washing and bathing purposes
- Use of soap with vigorous scrubbing and rinsing should be safe
- Purified water must be used for people with conditions such as open sores, lesions, or broken skin
- Dish Washing
- If hand-washing dishes, wash and rinse dishes and eating utensils in disinfected or distilled water
- According to the Oakland County Health Division, the heat/dry cycle of a home dishwasher is sufficient enough to kill any bacteria in the water. However, if you wish to sanitize the dishes and eating utensils during the uncertain period of the boil water advisory, there is an additional step you can perform
- Place the dishes and eating utensils in the sink and pour boiling water (that has been at a rolling boil for 5 minutes) over them and allow to dry, OR
- Immerse the dishes and eating utensils in a solution of a sink full of water and a capful of unscented regular household liquid bleach for 2 minutes and allow to dry
- Clothes Washing
- Washing clothes will not be affected by the boil water advisory. However, if there has been no water, rust or other particles could stain clothes. Run the washer empty through one cycle to ensure that the water line has been flushed before adding clothes. It is recommended that clothes washers not be used until after pressure has returned to normal for one day.
When is it safe to use water after a boil water advisory is lifted?
As soon as the boil water advisory is lifted, you can safely use the cold water for cooking and drinking. Just run your water for 30 to 60 seconds or until if feels cold. This procedure should be followed anytime the water is not used for more than six hours. You should not drink or cook with water from your hot water tap.
Should I drain my hot water tank after a boil water advisory?
You do not need to drain your hot water tank for a “precautionary boil water advisory”.