July 09, 2019

What does a Boil Advisory Mean and What Should I do?

By: Express Water

What does a Boil Advisory Mean and What Should I do?

“There’s a boil water advisory near me — what does that mean? What am I supposed to do!?”

Whether or not you have an RO system installed in your home, seeing a boil water advisory online or hearing about one on the radio can cause sudden panic. What dangerous chemicals or pathogens are lurking in your water? Learn the proper steps to take when water quality has been compromised in your area so you and your family can cook, clean, shower, and drink water safely.

What Is a Boil Water Advisory?

A boil water advisory is issued by your local water regulatory agency when a contaminant that is potentially hazardous to human health could be present in the public drinking water. There are two basic types of advisories:

  • Precautionary boil water advisories are issued when an event occurs that could contaminate the water supply. Boiling water when possible is recommended.
  • Mandatory boil water advisories are issued when a contaminant has been positively identified in the water supply. Failing to boil your water adequately before consumption could result in serious health problems.

Boil water advisories are often caused by drops in water pressure throughout a water system. Effective water treatment relies on high water pressure to disperse chemicals like chlorine and chloramines throughout public waterways. A pressure drop can cause a variety of contaminants to possibly enter the water supply.

The three main causes of boil-water advisories are:

  • Water main breaks or leaks
  • Microbial contamination
  • Low water pressure

Most boil water advisories will include the specific reason why the advisory was issued.

How to Boil Water for Drinking

If your home is in the affected area, what exactly are you supposed to do to treat your water?

  • Follow the instructions included in the boil water advisory. Typically you should boil all water you intend to consume for a minimum of one minute. Allow the water to cool before use. Water should be boiled before you brush your teeth, make ice, wash dishes, cook food, or simply drink it.
  • Boil all water until the notice is lifted. To be safe, treat all water to reduce the possibility of contamination. After the advisory is lifted make sure you have emptied any water that may remain in your home plumbing from the time during the advisory.
  • Store water in a dry place to prepare for boil water advisories if they are common in your area. Depending on how long you want to avoid the hassle of boiling water store one gallon of water per person per day. Replace stored water every six months.

Avoid Common Contaminants With Water Filtration

The Bipartisan Policy Center points out that boil water advisories are becoming more frequent as our nation’s water infrastructure ages and breaks down. As the rate of boil-water advisories continues to climb communities are negatively impacted and facilities like schools, hospitals, and homeless shelters are put to the test.

Boiling water is the recommended solution because it is effective at neutralizing some contaminants and the process can be done in most homes. However, modern water filtration systems can remove dozens of contaminants from your home’s water, even in the event of a boil water advisory.

Why wait until your water is contaminated? Installing an Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis System is the easiest way to live contaminant-free. The combination of powerful reverse osmosis filtration and ultraviolet sterilization delivers up to 99% removal rates of more than 100 contaminants, including common viruses, microbes, and bacteria that trigger boil water advisories.

Give your family peace of mind with a water filtration system that’s a breeze to install and simple to maintain. It’s the ultimate solution to avoid aggravating and alarming boil water advisories. Have any questions? Connect with a member of our customer service team.

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