A boil water advisory is a public notification advising customers to boil their tap water before consuming it. Advisories are issued when an event has occurred with either the potential to adversely affect water quality or a situation has caused a known degradation of water quality.
There are two types of boil water advisories: precautionary and mandatory.
Precautionary Boil Water Advisory
This type of notice is issued when the water system experiences a loss in positive water pressure (below 20 psi), typically due to a serious main break or low storage tank levels. This type of situation could allow contamination of the distribution system. This is the most common type of advisory, which is issued as a precaution until water samples can be collected and analyzed to confirm water quality has not be negatively impacted.
Mandatory Boil Water Order
This type of notice is issued when contamination has been confirmed to be present in the water system. Customers are instructed to boil water used for consumption to kill any bacteria or organisms that might be present in the water until the issue is resolved and the notice can be lifted. Contamination from these organisms can cause a variety of symptoms, including nausea, cramps, diarrhea and headaches.
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