HOUSTON - If you're under a boil water order, it's important to follow all precautions to protect yourself and your family.
Be sure to stay up to date with local officials to know the status of water and to be vigilant until is deemed safe.
Here are some important tips on how to boil and disinfect water to drink and use.
What is a boil water notice?
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says a boil water notice is typically issued following an unexpected condition that may have caused the potential for biological contamination of drinking water in a public water system. The boil water notice is issued as a precaution or notification to customers while the water is tested and the issue is resolved.
Why was a boil water notice issued in the City of Houston?
Areas affected by boil water notice. (Photo Courtesy to Houston Public Works)
The City of Houston issued a boil water notice for the City's main water system on Sunday.
According to the notice, the water pressure dropped below the TCEQ's required minimum of 20 PSI during a power outage at the East Water Purification Plan around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Samples are being collected for testing, and officials will notify residents when the notice is suspended.
You can find an interactive map of the area impacted by the boil water notice here.
How long to boil water when under a boil water notice?
A boil water notice means water should be boiled for drinking, cooking, showering, and brushing your teeth.
You should bring tap water to a rolling boil for one to two minutes (for 3 minutes at elevations above 6,500 feet). Then, let the water cool until you can pour it into a clean container.
You can also use bottled water.
Can I use filtered tap water?
Even if your tap water is filtered, you should boil it. Most household water filters do not remove bacteria.
Can I use the water from my refrigerator's dispenser?
You should not use water from your refrigerator that is connected to your water line. You also should not use ice from your ice maker.
Do I need to boil water for preparing and cooking food?
Make sure to wash your fruits and vegetables and cooking surfaces with bottled or boiled water that has cooled. If you are going to drink coffee, tea or any other drinks that need water make sure you use boiled water.
How do I boil water for feeding a baby?
If you're preparing formula for a baby, bring bottled or tap water to a boil for one to two minutes. Mix formula with the boiled water while it is still hot. Cool the hot formula under cold running water or by placing it into a container of cold water before feeding a baby.
Wash and sterilize any bottles and nipples before use.
Can I use tap water in my coffee maker? Do I need to boil it first?
Health officials recommend using bottled water or using water that has already been boiled for one minute before using it in your coffee machine.
File photo. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Can my pet drink tap water during a boil water notice?
Your pets also need clean water! So make sure to serve them boiled water that has cooled or bottled water.
Can I use tap water for bathing and showering?
Do not swallow any water when taking a shower or bathing and do not allow children to swallow water.
Make sure you brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.
Do I need to boil water to wash dishes? Can I use tap water?
If you are washing by hand, wash and rinse using hot water. In another tub, add one teaspoon of unscented bleach to one gallon of water. Allow dishes to soak in the tub for one minute. Then, let them air dry completely.
Dishwashers are safe to use because dishes are sanitized at a high temperature.