Boil water notices are issued when something is found in your water system that is unsafe. Boil water advisories are issued when there could be something in your water system that is unsafe. Drinking the water without boiling it can make you very sick. Boiling your water makes it safe to drink.
If there is a boil water notice or advisory, you should boil your water or use bottled water when cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing your teeth, or making baby formula. You should also use boiled water to wash your hands when cooking. Adults and older children do not need to use boiled water to shower or bathe, but you should try not to swallow any water or get any water into your mouth. Infants, toddlers, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems should be bathed using boiled or bottled water.
How to Boil Your Water So it is Safe to Use
You can safely boil your water by bringing it to a rolling boil for one minute. A rolling boil means that there are very large bubbles in the water, making the water move very quickly. Make sure the water does not have any floating pieces in it before you boil it. To make the boiled water taste better, pour the water back and forth between two clean containers a few times. ("How Do I Boil My Water?" in English, traditional Chinese, Haitian Creole, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese.)
Additional Information
Important Note: Boiling water is not an acceptable option for certain businesses (including food establishments), offices, and institutions. These facilities must take other precautions during a boil water notice.
Food Establishments (these include: restaurants; churches; shelters; child/adult day cares; caterers; itinerant vendors; campgroups/youth camps; food banks; assisted living facilities; food producers/manufacturers; farms and farm kitchens; temporary events; institutions such as schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, group homes, and correctional facilities)
Contact your local health department for more information on what you may need to keep your business operating safely during a boil water notice.