Boil water advisory

Your water supplier will alert you when the drinking water is unsafe. A ”boil water advisory” will be issued if the water company or the authorities suspect that the quality of the water is unsafe. This is done if the water company fears that the water may contain microorganisms that can be hazardous to health and cause illness.

 Foto: iStockphoto

Boiling the water kills microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. The water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute (see photo). An automatic electric kettle will normally bring water to a rolling boil before switching itself off, which will be sufficient. When using a microwave oven, ensure that the water boils hard. Bottled water can be used instead of boiled water.

All water to be used for drinking must be boiled

Also use boiled water for:

  • All food that is not to be cooked or heated above 100°C
  • Mixing of squash, and other products for drinking or eating
  • Electric drip coffee makers do not boil the water, and water used in such coffee makers must therefore be boiled in advance. For other types of coffee machines,check with the dealer
  • Ice cubes
  • Rinsing fruit, salad and vegetables that are not to be boiled
  • Brushing teeth

Unboiled water can be used for:

  • Cooking (boiling) food
  • Washing your hands. Wash your hands with soap, then rinse and dry them.
  • Showers and baths. Take care not to swallow any water. Keep a close eye on small children.
  • Manual washing-up and dishwashers. When washing-up manually, the dishes must be rinsed with boiled hot water or thoroughly dried. Washing-up liquids with disinfecting agents are insufficient.
  • Washing clothes
  • Cleaning the house

Other domestic use

Children should not play with garden sprinklers or play in children's pools when a public warning has been issued that water must be boiled.