Understanding a Boil Water Notice

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Boiling Water in Glass PotWhat is a boil water notice and why are these notices issued?

A boil water notice does not mean that the water is contaminated. It is the first precautionary step taken to protect the public from potential waterborne disease while further response and/or investigation into an event or problem proceeds. 

In the event of a boil water notice, affected customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the appropriate precautions. During a notice, all affected customers are notified by phone, email, news media releases and written or direct communication and are advised to boil their water before consuming it or use bottled water.

A boil water notice remains in effect until a series of laboratory results show that the water is safe and free from bacterial contamination. Each test usually takes 24-48 hours to complete. Bathing, washing clothes or dishes and other activities where water is used externally, do not pose a health risk during a boil water notice.

When is a boil water notice issued?""

EID certified technical personnel work closely with the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water to ensure safe potable drinking water is available at all times. 

EID adheres to stringent water quality testing and monitoring requirements to ensure that every drop of water delivered to our customers’ homes or businesses meet or exceed state and federal health and safety standards. We back our commitment of maintaining high water quality standards by dedicating the necessary human and technology resources to quality assurance programs. In the normal course of treating and delivering drinking water to our customers, EID routinely tests thousands of water quality samples per year.

The occurrences listed below trigger additional special sample collection to ensure the drinking water supply remains safe:

  • A water system completely loses water pressure or the pressure goes below 5 psi (pounds per square inch)
  • Water main breaks
  • Water system maintenance
  • Water main flushing
  • Water samples indicate the presence of bacteria
  • A cross-connection is discovered that has the potential to contaminate the water supply

EID certified technical staffs will issue a boil water notice if any routine or special sample result indicates the presence of water borne pathogen or contaminant. EID staff immediately notifies the Water Board's Division of Drinking Water and begins an investigation and repeat sampling.

When a boil water notice is issued by EID, it can only be lifted by the Water Boards, Division of Drinking Water and only after the source of the contaminant has been mitigated and a series of two consecutive repeat sample sets show no presence of any contaminants.

The chances of water contamination are remote, and EID will not take any chances with your family’s health. EID takes protection of public’s health  as our foremost responsibility. In most cases, issuing a boil water notice is a precautionary measure for the safety of our customers.

What should you do?

Do not consume your water without boiling it first. Use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes that might be present, a boil water notice will advise you to boil water used for drinking, cooking, and ice making. Bring water to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boil for two minutes (don’t forget to cool the water before consuming it). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), boiling is considered the most effective and the safest method of water disinfection.

Instead of boiling the water, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

What does EID do when there is a Boil Water Notice?

We are required to investigate the cause of the boil water notice which includes collecting repeat confirmation samples from the original site as well as upstream and downstream customer service connections of that point. Only after clarification of the cause and/or mitigation of the cause and satisfactory lab results along with an approval from the Water Boards, Division of Drinking Water, can we then lift a boil water notice.

How does EID notify customers that a Boil Water Notice is issued?

Water utilities are required to notify you by newspaper, radio, TV, hand-delivery or any combination of the above if your water doesn’t meet EPA or state standards or if there is a waterborne disease emergency.

EID uses an automated phone and email notification system to notify customers during emergencies. We must have your current phone number and/or email address listed on your account to receive a call or message from EID during an emergency.  We use the same method to notify customers when the boil water notice is lifted.

All information on boil water notices is posted to our website during an event and communicated to media outlets. To be sure you receive these messages please ensure your contact information is updated by completing the online form ,  email our customer service group at billing@eid.org.