Boil Orders

In the event of a boil order alert, the Department of Utilities will post information describing the location and what measures to take to ensure public safety.

The following instructions should be communicated to the water customers affected by the boil order:

  • Boil water vigorously for 3 minutes prior to use for cooking or drinking.

  • Disinfect food contact surfaces (dishes, cooking utensils, pans, etc.) by immersing them for at least 1 minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.

  • Dispose of ice cubes and remake with water that has been boiled.

  • Continue boiling all water that is to be used for cooking or drinking until posted time or notified that the boil order has been lifted.

  • Water used for bathing does not need to be boiled.

  • Normal precautionary boil orders will be for 48 hours.

  • Prior to lifting the boil order, the Department of Utilities is required to test for chlorine residuals and bacteria in the affected area.

  • If test results do not show proper chlorine amounts and no bacteria present, then the boil order will be extended.

  • Chlorine residual testing only takes a few minutes, while bacteria testing takes 24 hours.

  • Upon receiving good test results, the boil order may be lifted before the 48 hour time frame has ended.


If you have any questions concerning this information, please call (217) 228-4580.