12 Things Know During A Boil Water Advisory [New Research]
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12 Things Know During A Boil Water Advisory

Written by: Donavan Jones on September 26, 2019

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A Boil Water Advisory is a public health recommendation for residents to boil tap water for at least one minute before drinking it. This is in response to an event that could have allowed contaminants to enter the water distribution system. The boiled water is used for washing fruits and vegetables, making ice, washing dishes, or using it for brushing your teeth. A Boil Water Advisory is made to protect your health.

When a Boil Water Advisory is issued there is known microbiological contamination in the water supply or there is a risk that contamination may be present in the water supply. Advisories are made under the Public Health Act. Typically, a Boil Water Advisory is issued after a water main break, small or widespread loss of pressure in the water system, or during a natural disaster.



Table Of Contents:

1. Can I Drink Tap Water During A Boil Water Advisory

You can drink the tap water during a Boil Water Advisory as long as the water has been boiled for at least 3 minutes. You can store and cool the boiled water in a covered container for later use.


boil water advisory infographic

2. How Long Will The Need To Boil Water Continue?

Public notification will be given when the boil water advisory is lifted. Your water utility and your local Health Department office can also give you details on how long your boil water notice might last and will advise you when it is safe to return to normal water use.

3. How Long Is the Boiled Water Safe To Use

Once the water is boiled, it is safe to use. You should cover it and store it in the refrigerator for later use. If it is covered and safe from contamination then it will remain safe to use.

4. Can I Bathe In Tap Water

You can bathe using your tap water, be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children.


don't bathe during a Boil Water Advisory

5. Can My Pets Drink The Tap Water

Your pets should also drink boiled water during A Boil Water Advisory

6. What If I drank Some Tap Water Before I Knew About The Boil Water Advisory

An Advisory is issued as a precaution. You getting sick from the tap water is very low. If you begin to have a fever, diarrhea, or nausea you should seek medical attention.


man drinking cloudy water

7. Can I use My Activated Charcoal Filter System To Treat My Water

No, these filters are not designed to remove microbiological contamination from unsafe water. If you used your filter during an Advisory, it is recommended that you throw away the filter and replace it with a new one once the Advisory is over. A UV Water filter will destroy the microorganisms in your tap water.

8. Can I use My Tap Water To Make Baby Formula Or Drink

No. Any water for baby food, formula, or making drinks must be boiled and then cooled before it is safe for your baby.

9. Can I Use My Coffee Maker

No, most coffee makers cannot maintain high enough temperatures for long enough time to make the water safe.


don't use your Coffee maker during a Boil Water Advisory

10. Is A Boil Water Advisory The Same As A Boil Water Notice

An Advisory is when water contamination is possible. In an advisory, it is recommended that affected people boil their water before consuming it.

A Boil Water Notice is when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected people must boil their water before consuming it.

11. What Are Some Acceptable Alternate Source For Safe Drinking Water?

  • Bottled Water
  • Water from another public water supply(one that is not under the advisory or notice)
  • Florida certified bulk water hauler
  • Water from a water tanker that is provided by your water utility or by emergency response agencies.

12. What Should Homeowners Do When The Advisory or Notice is Lifted


woman thinking

  • Flush all household pipes/faucets first. To flush your plumbing, run all your cold water faucets for at least 5 minutes each. If your service connection is long or complex (apartment buildings) consider flushing for a longer period. Your building superintendent or landlord should be able to advise you on longer flush times
  • Dump existing ice and flush the water feed lines by making and discarding three batches of ice cubes. Wipe down the ice bin with a disinfectant. If your water feed line to the ice machine is longer than 20 feet, increase to five batches
  • Hot water heaters, water coolers, in-line filters, and other appliances with direct water connections or water tanks: Run enough water to completely replace at least one full volume of all lines and tanks. If your filters are near the end of their life, replace them.
  • Water softeners: Run through a regeneration cycle.
  • Reverse Osmosis units: Replace pre-filters, check the owner’s manual.
  • Replace other water filters, as they are disposable and may be contaminated. This applies especially to carbon filters and others that are near the end of their life.


When a Boil Water Advisory is issued there is known microbiological contamination in the water supply or there is a risk that contamination may be present in the water supply. Advisories are made under the Public Health Act. Typically, a Boil Water Advisory is issued after a water main break, small or widespread loss of pressure in the water system, or during a natural disaster.

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Donavan Jones

About Donavan Jones

Donavan Jones is the web master at Florida Water Analysis. He’s an expert in inbound marketing, lead generation, graphic design, and coding. In his spare time, Donavan is developing a video game with his friends and family.