Boil Water Notice: How Does it Work Beyond Drinking?Health Hub
Author name: Lee Health
If your area remains under a boil water notice, Lee Health’s Infectious Disease and Prevention team shares the following tips to protect your family’s health and safety (courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Use bottled water or boil tap water to avoid contracting germs that can make you sick.
- Use bottled or boiled water for drinking, and to prepare and cook food.
- If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. After boiling, allow the water to cool before use.
- Boil tap water even if it’s filtered (for example, by a home water filter or a pitcher that filters water).
- Don’t use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.
- Breastfeeding is the best infant feeding option. If you formula feed your child, provide ready-to-use formula, if possible.
In many cases, you can use tap water and soap to wash hands during a boil water advisory.
- Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then, rinse them well under running water.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Bathing and showering
Be careful not to swallow any water when bathing or showering.
Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.
Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water. Do not use tap water that you have not boiled first.
Washing dishes and cleaning surfaces
- If possible, use disposable plates, cups, and utensils during a boil water advisory.
- Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if:
- The water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66°Celsius), or the dishwater has a sanitizing cycle.
- Sanitize all baby bottles.
- To wash dishes by hand:
- Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
- In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
- Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
- Let the dishes air dry completely before using again.
- Clean washable toys and surfaces with:
- Bottled water, boiled water, or water that has been disinfected with bleach
It is safe to wash clothes as usual.