In the United States and Canada, we assume the water we drink
from the tap is safe, but that's not always the case. Have you ever
experienced that lovely alert known as a "Boil Water Advisory"? If
so, you have experienced the inconvenience; if not, let us fill you
in so if you ever do fall victim to a boil water advisory, you can
Some of you may be wondering, what are boil water advisories?
Basically, they are a public health advisory given by the
government or health authorities to consumers when a community's
drinking water is or could be contaminated by pathogens, a.k.a.
bacteria, viruses, protozoa or parasites. Let's just say, the water
can make you sick! According to the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), contamination can be caused by a variety of
factors, including equipment failure, leaking/broken pipes in the
water system or insufficient disinfectant in the water supply. The
boil water advisory gives you information so you can take action to
protect your health.
The CDC states that boiling water can be used as a pathogen
reduction method that should kill all pathogens. Essentially,
boiling water kills harmful bacteria and parasites. To ensure water
is sterile, it needs to be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute.
Once this is done, the boiled water should be cooled and can then
be used for your water needs.
A few quick tips for those who encounter boil water
Use Tap Water for:
clothes (unless water is cloudy)
- Taking showers
(adults and older children)
Use Boiled Water for:
- Washing fruits
- Mixing baby
- Making ice
Proper well and septic system construction and maintenance is
the key to helping keep germs out of drinking water and preventing
boil water advisories. Regularly testing water and regularly
inspecting septic systems also ensures any problems are caught.
Remember, when you need your water tested, call the Culligan Man. He has the hook-up for all your water testing
For more information regarding what to do if you experience a
boil water advisory, click here.