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What is a boil water advisory?

This is a localized public notification informing the public of a need to boil water and providing other information that the public needs. A boil water advisory is a precautionary measure and is issued even when contamination is unlikely. This is the most common type of boil water notice and is issued when the water system experiences a loss in positive water pressure, typically due to a serious main break. Loss of water pressure creates the possibility of harmful bacteria entering the pipelines. Until laboratory tests confirm the water has not been contaminated, the boil water advisory remains in effect.

What should you do?

During a boil water advisory, customers should do the following:

  • The safest and most effective method of water disinfection is to vigorously boil water for at least three full minutes. Fill a pot with cold water and start timing when bubbles pop at the surface. Cool the water before using it for drinking, washing or tooth brushing.
  • Store the disinfected water in clean, covered containers.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on actions to take.
  • Until the boil water advisory is lifted, use either boiled water that has been cooled, or bottled water, for drinking, brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, cleaning food contact surfaces, preparing food and baby formula, and for making ice.
  • Once the notice has been lifted: Resume normal water use without taking additional measures. If your water is cloudy or discolored, run your faucets for a few minutes until the water runs clear.

What is City Utilities doing?

During a boil water advisory, City Utilities will:

  • Dispatch water crews to investigate the loss of pressure event.
  • Inform customers of the boil water advisory, typically by calling the contact number of record.
  • Take corrective action.
  • Collect water samples and send them to a lab for analysis.
  • Await lab results. This typically takes about 24 hours.
  • Lift the boil water advisory once final results are satisfactory.
  • Notify customers that the boil water advisory is lifted.