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Boil Water Notice FAQ Sanitizing Water

I cannot boil my water. How do I disinfect my water to make it safe to drink?

Follow the steps below to properly disinfect water for drinking, cooking and/or brushing teeth.

If tap water is clear:

  • Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent)
  • Add 1/8 teaspoon (8 drops or about 0.75 milliliters) of unscented household liquid bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water
  • Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking
  • Store disinfected water for up to 5 days in a clean container with a cover. Water used after this time needs to be disinfected once again

If tap water is cloudy:

  • Pour through a clean cloth or coffee filter
  • Use unscented bleach (bleach that does not have an added scent)
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon (16 drops or 1.5 milliliters) of unscented household liquid bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water
  • Mix well and wait 30 minutes or more before drinking
  • Store disinfected water for up to 5 days in a clean container with a cover. Water used after this time needs to be disinfected once again
How does boiling water make it safe to drink?

Disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites are destroyed by high, sustained heat. Boiling does not remove them from the water, but it does kill them, preventing them from causing illness.

I don’t like the taste of boiled water. What can I do?

To improve the taste of boiled water you can:

  • Pour cooled boiled water back and forth from one clean glass or container into another to add air to the water, or
  • Let the water stand for a few hours, or
  • Add a pinch of salt to each quart of boiled water
How long should water be boiled?

Follow the steps below for the safest and most effective method of water disinfection.

  • Fill a pot with water
  • Heat the water until bubbles break the surface
  • Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for 1 minute
  • Turn off the heat source and let the water cool
  • Pour water into a clean container with a cover for storage