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Water Boil Advisory in Tampa, FL: What To Do

Understanding A Boil Water Advisory

When local health officials issue a boil water advisory, it’s crucial to take immediate action. This advisory indicates that your community’s water may contain harmful germs that could pose health risks if ingested or used around your home for things such as bathing or washing dishes. Whether it’s bacteria, viruses, or parasites, these contaminants reiterate the importance of using safe water alternatives until the advisory is lifted.

Types of Water Safety Advisories

Do you know what each type of water advisory means? There are three main types of advisories to be on the lookout for in your area.

  1. Boil Water Advisory: Boil water before use.
  2. Do Not Drink Advisory: Use a different water source for drinking or cooking.
  3. Do Not Use Advisory: Do not use tap water for any purpose, including cleaning the household and bathing.

What to Do During a Boil Water Advisory

During a water boil advisory, it is important to understand what you should not use your tap water for, or how to ensure the tap water is safe before using it for certain tasks.

How to Disinfect Tap Water for Drinking According to The CDC

If boiling water isn’t an option, you can still make it safe to drink and use around the home by disinfecting it. Begin by cleaning a container:

  1. Start with a clean container. Wash it thoroughly with dish soap and water, then rinse it well.
  2. Sanitize the container by mixing 1 teaspoon of unscented household bleach with one quart (32 ounces) of water.
  3. Cover the container and shake it to ensure the sanitizing solution touches all surfaces inside.
  4. After at least 30 seconds, pour out the sanitizing solution.
  5. Let the container air-dry before using it, or rinse it with clean water if available.

It’s best to use food-grade containers for storing water. Look for durable containers with tightly closed tops, preferably not made of glass.

Once your container is disinfected, you can disinfect your tap water by:

  1. Use unscented bleach that contains 5-9% sodium hypochlorite
  2. Add .5 milliliters of bleach or 8 drops (using a medicine dropper) of bleach per gallon of water.
  3. Mix well and allow 30 minutes before consumption.

According to the CDC, upon completing these steps, your tap water will be safe for consumption.

Can You Drink Tap Water During a Boil Water Advisory?

The CDC recommends using bottled or boiled water for drinking or cooking food. If you do not have access to bottled water, it is recommended to bring water to a full rolling boil for at least one minute before use. This also applies to water from appliances connected to your water line or that you typically use tap water for, such as water and ice from a refrigerator or your coffee maker.

Hand Washing, Bathing, and Showering During an Advisory

For hand washing, follow the guidance provided by your local public health officials, and if tap water is safe for handwashing, ensure thorough scrubbing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

While bathing or showering, be cautious not to swallow any water, this especially applies to young children. Consider sponge baths as an alternative to reduce the risk of ingesting contaminated water.

How to Brush Your Teeth During an Advisory

During an advisory, using bottled or boiled water for brushing your teeth is the safest option. Avoid using untreated tap water to minimize the risk of exposure to harmful germs.

Completing Household Chores During an Advisory: Washing Dishes, Laundry & Cleaning

Dishwashers are typically safe to use during an advisory if their final rinse cycle reaches at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit or if it has a sanitizing cycle. But what if you’re washing your dishes by hand? Wash your dishes as usual, while in a separate vessel add a teaspoon of unscented liquid bleach for each gallon of water and allow the dishes to soak for at least one minute before use.

Laundry is safe to complete as usual unless otherwise stated by local officials.

Household cleaning of surfaces should be done with bottled, boiled water, or water disinfected with bleach to eliminate any harmful germs.

How To Care For Pets During a Water Boil Advisory

Just like humans, pets can also be affected by contaminated water. Ensure they have access to safe water sources, such as bottled or boiled water, to protect their health.

Gardening and Plant Care During an Advisory

You may use tap water for household plants and gardens during a boil water advisory.

How Can Culligan of Tampa Help You During A Water Boil Advisory?

During a water boil advisory, our water experts can help you ensure that your drinking water is safe.

1. Bottled Water Delivery: Culligan of Tampa can provide safe and clean bottled water for drinking, cooking, and other essential needs.

2. Water Filtration Systems: Our range of water filtration systems can remove contaminants from your tap water, providing you with clean and safe drinking water. These systems can be installed in your home or office and can provide a long-term solution to water quality concerns.

3. Water Testing: Our water experts can perform water testing to identify any potential contaminants in your water supply. This can help determine the best filtration system or treatment method for your specific needs.

Remember, it’s important to follow the guidelines and recommendations provided by your local health department during a water boil advisory. If you have any specific concerns or questions, schedule an appointment with us to receive personalized assistance based on your location and water quality needs.