Q. Why is a Boil Water Order issued, and how long will it last?
A. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), in conjunction
with the District will issue a Boil Water Order when there is concern about potential
bacterial contamination to the drinking water supply. The District, with the assistance
of the DPH will develop a plan to eliminate any potential source of contamination
and a testing plan will be developed to verify the water is safe to drink. The testing
plan typically requires 48 to 72 hours to complete. When tests demonstrate there
is no longer a public health risk, the DPH will end the Boil Water Order. The Boil
Water Order can last longer than 72 hours if tests show potential further contamination.
Q. What should I do if I have already consumed some of the water?
A. If you think you may have consumed some of the water, prior
to the notification, watch for gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
If you do experience these symptoms, it is recommended you see your doctor or physician
immediately to determine the source of the symptoms.
Q. How long should I let the water boil?
A. To appropriately boil water, customers should bring the water
to a boil and let it boil for at least one minute, and then let cool before using.
Q. Can we use the water to wash and bathe?
A. The Boil Water Order prohibits drinking or cooking unless the
water is boiled first. Taking showers, bathing and washing hands, laundry and dishes
are permitted. Adults, teens and older children can wash, bathe or shower; however,
they should avoid swallowing the water. Toddlers and infants should be sponge bathed.
Q. Do I have to boil the water if I have a reverse osmosis system?
A. Reverse osmosis is not designed for removing bacterial contamination.
Therefore, boiling water is still required.
Q. Is it necessary to boil all water in the home during an advisory or order?
A. During Boil Water Orders you should boil all water used for
drinking, preparing food, beverages, ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, or
brushing teeth. It is not necessary to boil tap water used for other household purposes,
such as showering, laundry or bathing.
Q. What should I do in my home?
- Discard any water stored before the boil water order.
- Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute, cool it and store in a clean, covered
- If water is visibly cloudy, bring water to a rolling boil for 3 minutes.
- Bottled water and distilled water from approved sources may be used instead.
- Use boiled or bottled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning fruits and vegetables,
brushing teeth and for coffee and ice machines.
- Household pets should also be given boiled or bottled water to drink.
- To wash dishes by hand or clean countertops, use hot, soapy water then rinse with
cooled, boiled water.
- Use the regular or sani-cycle on the dishwasher. The energy saving cycle won't get
water hot enough to kill parasites/bacteria.
- Laundry may be done as usual.
- Hot tubs and whirlpools maintained according to manufactures guidelines, including
- chlorine, bromine or ozone levels, are safe to use. Do not swallow any water if
Q. What isn't safe?
- Coffee machines don't get water hot enough for long enough.
- Freezing water (ice machines, ice cubes) doesn't kill organisms that may be present.
- When bathing/showering, do not swallow any water.
- When bathing children, do not let them chew on washcloths or toys used in the bath.
Toys in the bath may hold water in them. Clean the toys by putting them through