Small Public Water Systems Affected; Large Public Water Systems Safe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 31, 2012 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that 82 small public drinking water systems in the state are under a boil water advisory. The majority of public water suppliers, including the larger public water systems which serve approximately 2.7 million Connecticut residents, were able to maintain water safety and service throughout the storm.
The list of 82 systems under a boil water advisory serve a total population of 11,072, approximately 0.31% of the state’s total population.
"Although Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of the state, we are very fortunate that the majority of Connecticut's public drinking water systems were not affected. Our state’s public drinking water supplies are well-protected from sources of contamination with measures that include laws prohibiting sewage treatment plants from being located upstream of a drinking water supply reservoir,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. "We will continue to monitor Connecticut's drinking water and work with those systems under a boil water advisory to help get them back online."
Public drinking water systems that are experiencing power outages and do not have a backup power source are issuing boil water advisories as a precautionary measure. DPH is monitoring these systems and working to contact other small public drinking water systems to determine their status and offer assistance as needed. Affected public water systems will notify customers if a boil water advisory is announced.
While some large public water supply systems in the state lost their normal power source, emergency power capabilities allowed them to operate normally to protect their water supply. DPH continues to monitor and provide assistance to these systems to ensure drinking water safety.
Residents Under Boil Water Advisory
Residential customers who have been advised by their water system of a boil water advisory should:
- Use water that has previously boiled and cooled to a safe temperature or bottled water to wash hands when cooking.
- An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity is to use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently purchased, free of additives and scents, and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at least 5.25%. Public health officials recommend adding 8 drops of bleach (about ¼ teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at least 30 minutes before use.
- Adults and older children do not need to use boiled water to shower or bathe, but should try not to swallow any water or get any water into their mouths. Infants, toddlers, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems should be bathed using water that has been previously boiled and cooled to a safe temperature or bottled water.
Homeowners in flooded areas whose private wells have flooded should consider their wells contaminated. For information on disinfecting flooded wells, go to www.ct.gov/dph/floods.
Large public water systems serve a population of 2.7 million people in Connecticut. There are approximately 500 smaller community public water systems that each serve less than 1,000 people.
The Department of Public Health Drinking Water Section is responsible for the administration of state and federal drinking water regulations and is dedicated to assuring the quality and adequacy of the state’s public drinking water sources. DPH provides technical assistance, education and regulatory enforcement to over 2,600 public drinking water systems, which provide drinking water to approximately 2.9 million persons on a daily basis.
For a list of the 82 systems under a boil water advisory, please refer to the end of this press release. A list of systems under boil water advisory will be updated daily and posted on the department’s Hurricane Sandy webpage at www.ct.gov/dph (under Featured Links/Hurricane Sandy) and directly at http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/communications/cerc/sandy_boilwater.pdf.
For more information on Hurricane Sandy recovery, go to www.ct.gov/sandy.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.