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What to do when a Boil Water Advisory is announced

3 types of drinking water advisories

  1. Boil Water advisories
  2. Do Not Consume advisories
  3. Do Not Use advisories

Boil water advisories

Boil water advisories advise home users that they should bring their tap water to a rolling boil (big bubbles) for at least 1 minute before they:

  • drink the water
  • use the water for other purposes, such as to:
  • cook
  • feed pets
  • brush their teeth
  • make soups or ice cubes
  • wash fruits and vegetables
  • make infant formula or other drinks

During a boil water advisory, do not use tap water to bathe those who need help, such as:

  • infants
  • toddlers
  • elders

Give them sponge baths instead so they avoid swallowing the water.

Boil water advisories are issued when:

  • there are problems with the water treatment system
  • water test results confirm the presence of disease-causing:
  • viruses
  • bacteria
  • parasites

Do not consume advisories

Do not consume advisories are issued when the water system has contaminants, like lead, that can't be removed from the water by boiling.

Do not consume advisories are also called do not drink advisories. These advisories tell the public that they should not use their tap water to:

  • cook
  • drink
  • feed pets
  • brush their teeth
  • make soups or ice cubes
  • wash fruits and vegetables
  • make infant formula or other drinks

During a do not consume advisory, do not use tap water to bathe those who need help, such as:

  • infants
  • toddlers
  • elders

Give them sponge baths instead so they avoid swallowing the water by accident.

The water can still be used to shower and bathe:

  • adults
  • older children

Do not use advisories

Do not use advisories warn the public that they should not use their tap water for any reason. A do not use advisory is issued when:

  • using the water poses a health risk
  • the water system has pollutants that can't be removed through boiling
  • being exposed to the water through bathing could, perhaps due to a chemical spill, irritate the:
  • skin
  • eyes
  • nose

(source: Indigenous Services Canada https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1538160229321/1538160276874)

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