What happens in the rare event drinking water quality is compromised?
From time to time we are required to issue a Boil Water Advisory or Do Not Drink Advisory to keep our customers safe.
This is usually because the drinking water source is at risk of having been contaminated. Possible reasons are due to a water main burst, damage to the water main, or loss of pressure in the network. In these instances, it is possible for ingress to enter the network and contaminate the drinking water.
Under these circumstances we work closely with the Department of Health to undertake sampling of the water. We are advised by the Department of Health when the water is safe to consume and the Water Advisory can be lifted.
There are two kinds of drinking water advisories, some information on each is available below.
A Boil Water Advisory is is issued when we detect a water quality issue with our customers’ drinking water supply.
A Boil Water Advisory notifies customers to boil their drinking water, and water used for food preparation, until we confirm the water is safe for these purposes.
We work closely with the Department of Health and keep customers informed using a variety of communication channels.
- 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 (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes). After boiling, allow the water to cool before use.
- Boil tap water even if it is filtered (for example, by a home water filter or a pitcher that filters water).
- Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.
- If you formula feed your child, provide ready-to-use formula, if possible.
- 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.
- It is safe to wash clothes as usual.
- You can use tap water for household plants and gardens.
We issue a Do Not Drink Advisory when your community’s water is, or could be, contaminated with harmful chemicals and toxins, and when boiling water will not make it safe.
We may recommend limited use of tap water for some tasks, depending on the harmful chemical or toxin contaminating the water.
During a Do Not Drink Advisory, use bottled water for:
- Drinking and cooking
- Brushing teeth
- Washing fruits and vegetables
- Preparing food
- Mixing baby formula
- Making ice
- Giving water to pets
- In some instances, it will be safe to wash hands, flush toilets and shower; in other instances, it will not. You should be cautious when bathing a baby and young children; they might swallow water.
Do not drink or use water from any appliance connected to your water supply lines. This includes the water and ice dispensers in your refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher.