From time to time, your area may be alerted to a “boil water advisory”. Below, we’ll inform you why these advisories are issued and what you need to do to stay safe when using water.
What is a Boil Water Advisory?
A boil water advisory is a public notification advising a customer to boil tap water before consuming it. Advisories are issued to the public when pressure drops below 20 psi in our distribution system. Boil water advisories may be issued when:
- Something has happened that could affect water quality negatively
- Something has happened that is known to affect water quality negatively
Levels of Boil Water Advisories
There are two different levels of boil water advisories that may be issued:
- Precautionary boil water advisories are issued in the event of a loss of positive water pressure. Positive water pressure can be lost when a significant break occurs in a water main, or water storage tanks are low. When positive pressure drops, the conditions within the water infrastructure could potentially allow contaminants to enter the distribution system. This boil water advisory is most common and used as a precaution, allowing time for water samples to be collected and reviewed to confirm proper water quality.
- Mandatory boil water orders are issued when we have a confirmed case of contamination to the water supply. In this instance, customers are instructed to boil the water to kill bacteria and other organisms in the water until the issue is resolved.
Boil Water Advisories – What to Do
If a boil water advisory is issued in your service area, you should boil water before drinking it for at least three minutes, and then let the water cool before using it. If you have uncooked food, drinks, or ice made from water the day of the advisory, dispose of it. Keep a supply of boiled water cooled in the refrigerator for drinking. Give pets cooled, boiled water for drinking, and do not swallow tap water while bathing.
Indiana American Water continues to work diligently to protect our customers from water contamination. We regularly invest in our infrastructure to prevent main breaks and the boil water advisories associated with these events. If you have questions about a boil water advisory or what you need to do to stay safe, please contact us or visit https://amwater.com/inaw/water-quality. For many of our boil water advisories, we use the CodeRED emergency notification tool to communicate with customers through phone calls, e-mails and texts. These alerts are available online at https://amwater.com/inaw/alerts. To set your preferences on receiving CodeRED emergency notifications from us, sign up for a “My Account” online account at https://wss.amwater.com/selfservice-web/login.do.