Boil Water Notice Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions about how to use water safely during a Boil Water Notice.

How do I use water when the boil water notice has been issued?

  • The water should NOT be used for drinking, making infant formula and juices, cooking, making ice, washing fruits, vegetables or brushing teeth. For these purposes, boiled water or bottled water should be used. The water should be brought to a rapid rolling boil and boiled for 1 minute. If there are children in the home, place the pot on the back burner to avoid scalds. Boil only as much water in a pot as you can comfortably lift without spilling.

Can I take a bath?

  • Adults and teens may shower with untreated water as long as no water is swallowed. Older children could also be given a shower with a handheld showerhead, avoiding the face. Younger children should be sponge bathed instead of bathing in a tub because they are likely to swallow tub water.

Can I use the water for hand washing?

  • Yes, there is no need for additional hand disinfection.

I have a dishwasher – is it safe to use?

  • If your dishwasher has a hot setting, it safely disinfects dishes. If your dishwasher does not have a hot setting, after finishing the cycle, soak dishes for 1 minute in a solution of 1 oz. (30 ml) of bleach mixed with 3 gallons of lukewarm water (13.5 litres). Let dishes air-dry.

I wash dishes by hand, how do I disinfect them?

  • You could use boiled water for washing dishes. Dishes washed in soap and hot water can also be rinsed in boiled water or disinfected with the following bleach solution. Mix 1 oz. (30 ml) bleach into 3 gallons (13.5 litres) of water at room temperature for at least 1 minute. Let dishes air dry.

What is disinfection?

  • Disinfection is a cleaning process, which destroys most disease-causing micro-organisms (pathogens).

How do I disinfect countertops, chopping boards, or utensils, which have come into contact with raw meat?

  • Counter tops, chopping boards or utensils, which have come into contact with raw meat, should be washed with soap and hot water first, and then disinfected with a bleach solution. Mix ¼ cup (about 60 ml) bleach into 1 gallon (4.5 litres) water for this purpose. Do not reuse or store this solution, but make it fresh daily.

Should I change the way I am doing laundry?

  • No, continue doing laundry the way you usually do.

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

  • No. Filtered water should also be brought to a rolling boil for 2 minutes before drinking or using it for cooking.

What should I do after the boil water notice is lifted?

  • Run cold faucets for 1 minute before using the water. Run drinking fountains for 1 minute before using the water. Flush all garden hoses by running cold water through them for 1 minute. Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle. Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 45ºC (normal setting is 60ºC).