Public Works: Water Division
Boil Order Information
Boil order advisories occur when there is a contamination issue with your water source. Below is information regarding boil orders.
Can I drink the water? Not without boiling it first. If bottled water is not available, bring the water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. After boiling, allow the water to cool before use. Boil tap water even if it is filtered. Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as an ice maker or water dispenser from the refrigerator. If you formula feed your child, provide ready-to-use formula if available. Do not use water from the tap unless it has been boiled.
Can I wash my hands? In many cases, you can use tap water and soap to wash hands during a boil order advisory. Follow the guidance from your local public health officials. Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Then, rinse them well under running water.
Can I still take a shower/bath? Yes, but 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.
Can I brush my teeth? Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water. Do not use tap water that you have not boiled first. Remember to let the water cool before using.
Can I wash my dishes? If possible, use disposable plates, cups, and utensils during a boil order advisory. Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit or the dishwater has a sanitizing cycle. Sanitize all baby bottles. To wash dishes by hand, it is generally safer to boil water to use for washing prior to washing dishes. Make sure water has cooled to an appropriate temperature before using.
Can I do my laundry? It is safe to wash clothes as usual.
Can I clean my floors/walls/etc.? Clean washable toys and surfaces with bottled water, boiled water, or water that has been disinfected with bleach.
Can I care for my pets as normal? Pets can get sick from some of the same germs as people or spread germs to people. Give pets bottled water or boiled water that has been cooled. 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.
Can I water my plants? You can use tap water for household plants and gardens.