stove with pot of water

Why do I have a water boil notice? What does it mean?

Cities across Texas are posting water boil notices left and right as water pressure falls across the state. Here are some resources on how to make sure your water is safe, why our water is unsafe right now, and how we can pull together to get through.

Cities across Texas are posting water boil notices left and right as water pressure falls across the state. Here are some resources on how to make sure your water is safe, why our water is unsafe right now, and how we can pull together to get through.

How do I make sure my water is safe? 

Boil water at a rigorous rolling boil for at least two minutes (see this video).

What water uses must I boil water for?

Boil water before drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, washing your face/hands, giving your pets a drink. Anything that could get water inside you or a pet could make you sick if the water is unclean.

What can I use non-boiled water for?

Doing dishes as long as you rinse with boiled water after. Laundry is okay too, but avoid that for now to conserve water and restore water pressure. 

Why is the water unsafe?

In most places, the water boil notice is because of a drop in water pressure across our water systems. When pressure drops, water stays in the pipes longer, leading to the potential for the growth of dangerous bacteria between the water treatment plant and your tap. Boiling the water kills that bacteria and makes the water safe to use again.

What if I don’t have power?

Get a friend/neighbor with power to bring you water, go to a shelter, or check your local city resources to find a place with safe water.

What are local recommendations?

City wide notices:

Cities with partial notices:

Cities without notices:

  • Dallas - could issue one soon, check back in
  • Plano - Boiling not needed at this time

Check here for updates in North Texas

Image credit:  Eser Aygün / Flikr