You should boil tap water vigorously for at least 1 full minute prior to using it for drinking or cooking (the minute starts when the water begins to bubble). This includes water used for brushing teeth, making ice, washing raw foods, preparation of drinks, and water for pets. Wait for the water to cool before using it, or store it in the refrigerator in a clean container. Boiling removes harmful bacteria in the water that may cause illness. You should throw away ice made during the time the advisory or notice was issued, as freezing does not kill bacteria.
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:
- Run all cold water faucets in your home for one minute
- To flush automatic ice makers, make three batches of ice and discard
- Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle
- Run drinking water fountains for one minute
- Run water coolers with direct water connections for five minutes.