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Boil water information

Find out what to do when a boil water notice is issued.

Boil Water Information

When a boil water notice is in effect, consumers need to boil tap water before drinking, using for food preparation or cleaning. This is used when bacteria is present in the drinking water, or there is the potential for bacteria to be present in the drinking water.

How long do I need to boil the water for?

Boiling will kill all disease-causing organisms.

  • Place the water in a clean metal pan and bring the water to a rolling boil (where bubbles appear in the centre and do not disappear when the water is stirred) for two minutes.
  •  Alternatively, boil an electric jug full of water until the switch turns off.
  • Cool water (do not use ice cubes to do this) and pour into a clean container with a lid.
  • Refrigerate until needed.

I have a water filtration unit installed. Does this make the water safe?

No. Filtered water should also be boiled for one minute before using it for drinking, food preparation or brushing your teeth.

Can I use my coffee machine, soda machine or ice maker?

Machines that are connected to the water supply should not be used. Use boiled water or bottled water for making coffee, ice or soda drinks.

Can I still use the water for washing the dishes and doing the laundry?

Dishes can be washed using boiled water. If your dishwasher has a hot setting, it can be used to wash dishes. If it doesn’t have a hot setting, once it’s finished, rinse the dishes in a bleach solution afterwards (2 drops unscented household bleach per 1 litre of water). Allow the dishes to completely air dry. You can continue to do your laundry as you normally would.

Is it safe to wash my hands in the tap water?

Yes it is, as long as you follow a proper handwashing technique. This includes rubbing all parts of your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds and drying your hands.

What should I do once the boil water advisory is lifted?

Run your cold taps for 5 minutes before using the tap water. Flush
any appliances e.g. coffee machines, that are connected to the water
supply. Hot water cylinders and header tanks may need to be drained
and refilled.