Water Quality

titleSafe drinking water is everybody's business. Managing drinking water supplies properly, from the source water to the consumer's tap, takes a great deal of knowledge and coordination among multiple stakeholders--from governments and businesses, to individuals like you.

The key to ensuring clean, safe and reliable drinking water is to understand the drinking water supply from the source all the way to the consumer's tap. This knowledge includes understanding the general characteristics of the water and the land surrounding the water source, as well as mapping all the real and potential threats to the water quality.

Boil Water Advisory

Instructions for Using Water in the Home During a Boil Water Advisory

During an advisory, it is essential that all water to be used for the following activities be boiled:

  • drinking
  • preparing infant formulas
  • preparing juices and ice cubes
  • washing fruits and vegetables
  • cooking
  • dental hygiene

Holding water at a rolling boil for at least 1 minute will inactivate all waterborne pathogenicmicro-organisms. Water can be boiled either in a pot or kettle on a stove, an electric kettle without an automatic shut-off or in a microwave oven. If water is boiled in a microwave, it is advisable to include a glass rod or wooden or plastic stir stick in the container to provide nucleation sites for bubble formation and energy diffusion. This will prevent the formation of superheated water.

Under most circumstances it is not necessary to boil water used for other household purposes. Adults, adolescents and older children may shower, bathe or wash using tap water but should avoid swallowing the water. Toddlers and infants should be sponge bathed. In non-outbreak situations, dishes and laundry may be washed in tap water, either by hand or by machine.