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Lake Cumberland District Health Department

A healthy today for a brighter tomorrow.

Frequently Asked Questions about Boil Water Advisories

Your water may be contaminated with bacteria. Contamination may be due to equipment failure, broken water lines, leaking pipes in the system, or insufficient disinfectant in the water supply.

The water should NOT be used for drinking, making infant formula or juices, cooking, making ice, making coffee or tea, washing fruits or vegetables, or brushing teeth. For these purposes, boiled or bottled water should be used. The water should be brought to a strong, rolling boil for at least 3 minutes. If there are children in the home, place the pot on the back burner to avoid scalding. Boil only as much water in a pot as you can comfortably carry without spilling. Discard all ice and disinfect ice cube trays. Make ice using boiled, cooled water.

It is safe to take a shower or bath with untreated water, but be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing children and infants; consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the risk of them swallowing water.

It is safe to shave as usual.

Yes, untreated water can be used for hand washing, but should be followed with an alcohol based hand disinfectant containing more than 60% alcohol.

Yes, a water filtration device does not make the water safe to drink or cook with. Boil all water before cooking or drinking.

Yes, you can use your dishwasher to wash dishes, but you should follow washing your dishes by sanitizing them in a mixture of 1 teaspoon of unscented bleach per 1 gallon of lukewarm water for 1 minute.

Yes, it is safe to use untreated water for laundry. Be sure and check water for clarity before laundering.

Most people who drink this water will not get sick. If you do get sick the symptoms are similar to food poisoning: nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and possibly a mild fever.

The most important thing to do is avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinks with caffeine. If you are concerned about your health contact your health care provider.

  • Flush all of your faucets by running cold water for at least 1 minute.
  • If your refrigerator is equipped with an ice maker and water dispenser: Throw out the ice, change the filter cartridges, flush the water dispenser for 3-5 minutes, run the ice maker for 3 hours then throw out ice, wash and sanitize the ice bin.
  • Follow owner’s manual for cleaning and sanitizing all other appliances such as water softeners.