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A Boil Water Notice must be issued under the following circumstances:
These situations are not the only times when an advisory or notice should be issued. Specific situations, upon consultation with DHEC, may also require an advisory or notice.
A 'Do Not Use Notice' will be issued if there is a contaminant in the water that may be inhaled or otherwise harmful on contact.
The water treatment process removes these bacteria from the water, but events such as a water main break or a loss of pressure in the water distribution system may allow these bacteria to enter water lines through cracks in pipes or back-siphoning from a residential plumbing system. Boiling water vigorously for 1 minute will kill these bacteria and make water safe to drink.
An advisory is different from a Boil Water Notice, which is issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, all customers must boil their water before consuming it or use bottled water.
After an advisory or notice has been lifted (if contamination of the water system did occur), you should flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc. prior to using for drinking or cooking. Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure that no contaminated water remains in your pipes. Follow the these guidelines for flushing:
If a hurricane is about to impact our service area, then the Charleston Water System may, after consultation with SCDHEC, issue a Boil Water Advisory as a precautionary measure.
After the storm:
- We look for damage to our system and make any repairs as quickly as possible.
- If tests show the water is safe to drink, we lift the Boil Water Advisory.
- If tests indicate bacterial contamination, we issue a Boil Water Notice.
- Stay tuned to media reports for instructions.