Boil Order

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A boil order is issued if there is a pressure loss in the water distribution system.  Usually a Boil Order is localized to a small area where a water line break occurs.  Boil orders remain in place until the water lines are disinfected and bacterial samples are taken and come back as safe.  This process usually takes 24 hours.

  • If there are any solid particulate or dirt present, strain the water through a cheesecloth, coffee filter or other clean porous material to remove as many solid particles and dirt as possible.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Let the water cool. Pour into clean container.
  • To preserve the quality of the water, refrigerate the water until use.
Frequently Asked Questions

Why has a Notice to Boil Water (Boil Order) been issued?  State regulations require boil orders to ensure safe drinking water in the event water pressure drops below 20 pounds per square inch (PSI) in any part of the distribution system.  In most cases, this happens when a water main is being repaired in your neighborhood.  Boil orders are issued as a precaution with a customers best interests in mind.  It's possible, but unlikely, baterial can enter the water system when pressure in the line drops below 20 psi.

Can I drink the water?  During a boil order, only bottled water or water that has been boiled 3-5 minutes should be consumed or used to wash dishes, wash fruits/vegetables, make ice cubes or brush teeth.

Can I wash my hands with this water?  It is recommended that bottled water or water boiled for 3-5 minutes should be used for hand washing.  When this is not practical, it is recommended that if tap water must be used to wash and rinse it should be followed up with the use of a hand sanitizer.  Using extra precautions with hand washing ensures that hands are clean for eating.

Can I shower or take a bath in this water?  Yes, it is safe to shower or bathe in the water.  The primary concern is that the water not be consumed.  Instruct children not to put water in their mouths when they are bathing.  When bathing infants, extra precautions should be taken and it is recommended that bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3-5 minutes and cooled be used.

How do I wash my dishes?  Use bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3-5 minutes to wash and rinse dishes.  Home dishwashers can not be assured to completely kill organisms that may be in the water?

Can I wash my clothes in the water?  Yes, you may continue to use the water to wash clothes.  The major concern is consuming the water.

Are swimming pools safe?  They are safe as long as proper levels of treatment are maintained.  Water from swimming pools should never be consumed.

Can my pets drink the water?  Animals generally are not affected in the same way as people by contaminants in the water.  An individual may give their pets bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3-5 minutes and cooled if they choose.  Fish tanks should not be affected.

Are vending machines that mix drinks safe?
 These machines that use City water should not be used until the boil order has been lifted.