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Is Your Home Under A Boil Order? Tips For Providing Your Household With Safe Drinking Water

by Zack Gilbert

Boil orders are all too common in many areas of the country. A boil order is issued after a contamination issue or risk has been found. This can mean that affected households may have already consumed contaminated water before the boil order was able to be issued. Since these orders may only be issued through area media or on the water company's website, some affected homes may not find out about it in time to stop drinking their tap water. If you have just received a boil order or live in an area where they are issued frequently, the following information will help you ensure your home water supply is always safe for your family to consume. 

Understanding a boil order

Boil orders are commonly issued after a flood or some type of other disaster capable of causing damage to water pipes, pumps, or water storage tanks. They can also be issued when the water supplier experiences a loss of water pressure, when the method of purifying the water fails, and when routine water tests show contamination. 

Standard instructions given in a boil order require water to be boiled vigorously for a full three minutes before it can be used for drinking or food preparation. Water that will come into contact with dishes and cooking equipment can also be boiled or be purified by adding one teaspoon of chlorine bleach to five gallons of water. If the bleach purification method is used on drinking water, allow the container to stand open for one-half hour or longer after treatment and before drinking to allow the bleach to dissipate. 

Stock and rotate a bottled water supply

Having a case or two of bottled water on hand is an excellent way to provide needed water for drinking, dental hygiene, and cooking for families who have just been notified of a boil order and will need time to comply. Bottled water should be stored in an area of the home where it will not be subject to freezing or excessively hot temperatures and it should be rotated often to ensure freshness. 

Install a drinking water system

If boil orders occur frequently, the chances of having a family member become sick from drinking contaminated water increase. A good way to prevent this problem from occurring is to install a drinking water system in the home that will constantly filter and purify tap water. Several types of drinking water systems are available, including reverse osmosis systems, filter systems, and cartridge type-disinfection systems. 

To learn more about the problems with water quality in your area and the best way for you to keep your family safe, contact reputable drinking water systems installers like Oxley Softwater Co.