What To Do After a Boil Water Advisory Has Ended
Oakland County, MichiganHealthNewsWhat To Do After a Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

What To Do After a Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

There are important steps that need to be followed once a boil water advisory ends. After the advisory has been lifted, it does not mean that the water is able to be used or drank right away. Please see the checklists below for actions that need to be taken after a boil water advisory has ended.

/_cdn/apps/view-templates/faq-collapsed.tmpl.html
$Expand=File&$orderby=Order asc
File.ServerRelativeUrl,ServerRelativeUrl
Order
asc
/health/news
19d62a8d-109a-47ba-b785-1e44b545966c
/_api/Web/Lists(guid'')
Residents,

Checklist: What To Do After A Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

When a homeowner is notified that the boil water advisory has ended and the drinking water supply is safe, the following actions need to be taken before you consume the water.

1. FLUSH WATER

  • Unscrew and remove the faucet aerator (screen)
  • Turn on each cold water faucet/tap slowly
  • Run cold water for five minutes
  • Clean and reinstall aerator

2. HOT WATER TANKS

To clear hot water pipes and water heater of untreated water:

  • Run hot water only at all faucets and flush until water runs cool or typically for a minimum of:
    • 15 minutes for a typical household 40 gallon hot water tank
    • 30 minutes for a hot water tank greater than 40 gallons
  • Hot water is then safe to use for washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc. by hand.

3. REPLACE FILTERS

Water filters that are commonly used in refrigerators, faucets, pitchers, under the sink, and the whole house, etc. are not designed to remove the specific bacteria potentially present during a boil water advisory. If you ran water through your filter during the boil water advisory, the filter could be contaminated.

  • Remove and discard water filters
  • Replace with a new filter following flushing

Note: If you cannot flush or run water when filter is removed, replace with new filter after flushing. Always follow manufacturer's directions for filter replacement.

4. CHECK APPLIANCES/DEVICES

Always read and follow the owner's manual for directions to clean and flush all appliances that use water.

Dishwashers

  • After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run empty dishwasher one time on the hottest or 'sanitize' cycle.

Refrigerators/Freezers

Always follow filter replacement recommendations above.

  • For refrigerators without filters, flush water dispensers by running at least one quart of water.
    • If unsure of your dispenser's capacity, refer to manufacturer specifications.
  • Flush home automatic ice makers. Make three batches of ice cubes and discard all three batches.

Water Softeners

  • Run water softeners through a full regeneration (flush) cycle.

Portable Humidifiers

  • Discard any water used in the device.
  • Rinse the device with clean water and sanitize.
  • If your humidifier has a filter, sanitize the humidifier and replace the filter.
    • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
  • Use distilled or demineralized water in humidifiers.

Furnace Humidifiers

There is potential for bacteria to grow on humidifier pads and in humidifier reservoirs after a boil water advisory.

  • Follow manufacturer's guidelines to clean and disinfect all parts of the humidifier.
  • Replace humidifier pad if it cannot be disinfected.

Other Devices

If you used contaminated water during the boil water advisory in nebulizers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, oral, medical, or health care devices, take the following actions:

  • Discard any water used in the devices listed above.
  • Rinse the device with clean water and sanitize.
  • If your humidifier has a filter, sanitize the humidifier and replace the filter.
    • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.

Sterile water should be used for CPAP machines and nebulizers. Follow manufacturer's directions.

Schools & Childcare Facilities,

Checklist: What To Do After A Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

When a school or childcare facility is notified that the boil water advisory is lifted and the drinking water supply is safe, the following actions need to be taken before you consume use the water.

1. FLUSH WATER
  • Unscrew and remove the faucet aerator (screen)
  • Turn on each cold water faucet/tap slowly.
  • Run cold water for five minutes.
  • Clean and reinstall aerator.

2. HOT WATER TANKS/BOILERS

To clear hot water pipes and water heater of untreated water:

  • Run hot water only at all faucets and flush until water runs cool or typically for a minimum of:
    • 15 minutes for a typical household 40 gallon hot water tank.
    • 30 minutes for a hot water tank greater than 40 gallons.
    • Consult water system professionals regarding the draining, flushing, or treatment for large capacity hot water tanks/boilers designed to deliver hot water.
  • Hot water is then safe to use for washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc. by hand.  

3. REPLACE FILTERS

Water filters that are commonly used in refrigerators, faucets, and under the sink, etc. are not designed to remove the specific bacteria commonly present during boil water advisory. If you ran water through your filter during the boil water advisory, the filter could be contaminated.

  • Remove and discard water filters.
  • Replace with a new filter following flushing.

Note: If you cannot flush or run water when filter is removed, replace with new filter after flushing. Always follow manufacturer's directions for filter replacement.

4. CHECK APPLIANCES/DEVICES

Always read the owner's manual for directions to clean and flush all appliances that use water.

  • Flush, clean, and sanitize appliances that use tap water (such as beverage dispensers, spray misters, coffee and tea urns, ice machines, glass washers, dishwashers) according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Run water softeners through a full regeneration (flush) cycle.

Water Coolers/Drinking Fountains

  • Run drinking fountains continuously for 5 minutes to flush the system.
  • Replace filter if applicable. 

Dishwashers

  • After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run empty dishwasher one time on the hottest or 'sanitize' cycle.

Ice Machines

  • Discard ice from ice machines.
  • Clean and sanitize per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Flush ice machines by following the manufacturer's instructions, including:
    • Flush the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Close the valve on the water line behind the machine.
    • Disconnect the water line from the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve and run 5 gallons of water through the valve.  Dispose of this water.
    • Close the valve.
    • Reconnect the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve.
    • Replace any filters and sanitize filter holders.
    • Flush the water lines in the machine.
    • Turn on the machine.
    • Make ice for 1 hour and dispose of this ice.
    • Clean and sanitize all parts and surfaces that come in contact with water and ice per the manufacturer's instructions.

Refrigerators/Freezers

Always follow filter replacement recommendations above.

  • For refrigerators without filters, flush water dispensers by running at least one quart of water.
    • If unsure of your dispenser's capacity, refer to manufacturer specifications.
  • Flush home automatic ice makers. Make three batches of ice cubes and discard all batches.

Portable Humidifiers

  • Discard any water used in the device.
  • Rinse the device with clean water and sanitize.
  • If your humidifier has a filter, sanitize the humidifier and replace the filter.
    • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
    • Use distilled or demineralized water in humidifiers.

Furnace Humidifiers

There is potential for bacteria to grow on humidifier pads and in humidifier reservoirs after a boil water advisory.

  • Follow manufacturer's guidelines to clean and disinfect all parts of the humidifier.
  • Replace humidifier pad if it cannot be disinfected.

Water Softeners

  • Run water softeners through a full regeneration (flush) cycle.

All food service establishments in the areas of the lifted boil water advisory should immediately implement Recovery Protocols from the Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments available at www.oakgov.com/health/services/Documents/MDA_EmergencyActionPlan_109428_7.pdf

For more information, contact Environmental Health Services at 248-858-1312.

Restaurants & Licensed Food Establishments,

Checklist: What To Do After A Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

When a food service establishment is notified that the boil water advisory has ended and the drinking water supply is safe, the following actions need to be taken before you consume the water.

1.  FLUSH WATER

  • Unscrew and remove the faucet aerator (screen)
  • Turn on each cold water faucet/tap slowly
  • Run cold water for five minutes
  • Clean and reinstall aerator

2. HOT WATER TANKS/BOILERS

To clear hot water pipes and water heater of untreated water:

  • Run hot water only at all faucets and flush until water runs cool or typically for a minimum of:
    • 15 minutes for a typical household 40 gallon hot water tank
    • 30 minutes for a hot water tank greater than 40 gallons
    • Consult water system professionals regarding the draining, flushing, or treatment for large capacity hot water tanks/boilers designed to deliver hot water.
  • Hot water is then safe to use for washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc. by hand.

CHECK APPLIANCES/DEVICES

Always read and follow the owner's manual for directions to clean and flush all appliances that use water.

  • Flush, clean, and sanitize appliances that use tap water (such as spray misters, coffee and tea urns, ice machines, glass washers, dishwashers) according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration (flush) cycle.
  • After flushing hot water piping, run empty dishwasher one time.

Beverage Dispensers

  • Flush, clean, and sanitize beverage dispensers according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Consult service representative for further information on procedures for your specific unit.

Drinking Fountains / Water Coolers

  • Run drinking fountains continuously for 5 minutes to flush the system.
  • Replace filter if applicable.

Water Filters
Water filters that are commonly used in refrigerators, faucets, and under the sink, etc. are not designed to remove the specific bacteria commonly present during boil water advisory. If you ran water through your filter during the boil water advisory, the filter could be contaminated.

  • Remove and discard water filters
  • Replace with a new filter following flushing

Note: If you cannot flush or run water when filter is removed, replace with new filter after flushing. Always follow manufacturer's directions for filter replacement.

Portable Humidifiers

  • Discard any water used in the device.
  • Rinse the device with clean water and sanitize.
  • If your humidifier has a filter, sanitize the humidifier and replace the filter.
    • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
  • Use distilled or demineralized water in humidifiers.

Furnace Humidifiers

There is potential for bacteria to grow on humidifier pads and in humidifier reservoirs after a boil water advisory.

  • Follow manufacturer's guidelines to clean and disinfect all parts of the humidifier.
  • Replace humidifier pad if it cannot be disinfected.

Ice Machines

  • Discard ice from ice machines.
  • Clean and sanitize per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Flush ice machines by following the manufacturer's instructions, including:
    • Flush the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Close the valve on the water line behind the machine.
    • Disconnect the water line from the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve and run 5 gallons of water through the valve.  Dispose of this water.
    • Close the valve.
    • Reconnect the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve.
    • Replace any filters and sanitize filter holders.
    • Flush the water lines in the machine.
    • Turn on the machine.
    • Make ice for 1 hour and dispose of this ice.
    • Clean and sanitize all parts and surfaces that come in contact with water and ice per the manufacturer's instructions.

All food service establishments in the areas of the lifted boil water advisory should immediately implement Recovery Protocols from the Emergency Action Plan for Retail Food Establishments available at https://www.oakgov.com/health/services/Documents/MDA_EmergencyActionPlan_109428_7.pdf

For more information, contact Environmental Health Services at 248-858-1312.

Businesses,

Checklist: What To Do After A Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

When a business is notified that the boil water advisory has ended and the drinking water supply is safe,  the following actions need to be taken before you consume the water.

1. FLUSH WATER

  • Unscrew and remove the faucet aerator (screen)
  • Turn on each cold water faucet/tap slowly
  • Run cold water for five minutes
  • Clean and reinstall aerator

2. HOT WATER TANKS/BOILERS

To clear hotwater pipes and water heater of untreated water:

  • Run hot water only at all faucets and flush until water runs cool or typically for a minimum of:
    • 15 minutes for a typical household 40 gallon hot water tank
    • 30 minutes for a hot water tank greater than 40 gallons
    • Consult water system professionals regarding the draining, flushing, or treatment for large capacity hot water tanks/boilers designed to deliver hot water.
  • Hot water is then safe to use for washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc. by hand.

3. REPLACE FILTERS

Water filters that are commonly used in refrigerators, faucets, and under the sink, etc. are not designed to remove the specific bacteria commonly present during boil water advisory. If you ran water through your filter during the boil water advisory, the filter could be contaminated.

  • Remove and discard water filters
  • Replace with a new filter following flushing

Note: If you cannot flush or run water when filter is removed, replace with new filter after flushing. Always follow manufacturer's directions for filter replacement.

4. CHECK APPLIANCES/DEVICES

Always read and follow the owner's manual for directions to clean and flush all appliances that use water.

Dishwashers

  • After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run empty dishwasher one time on the hottest or "sanitize" cycle.

Refrigerators/Freezers

Always follow filter replacement recommendations above.

  • For refrigerators without filters, flush water dispensers by running at least one quart of water.
    • If unsure of your dispenser's capacity, refer to manufacturer specifications.
  • Flush home automatic ice makers. Make three batches of ice cubes and discard all three batches.

Ice Machines

  • Discard ice from ice machines
  • Clean and sanitize per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Flush ice machines by following the manufacturer's instructions, including:
    • Flush the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Close the valve on the water line behind the machine.
    • Disconnect the water line from the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve and run 5 gallons of water through the valve. Dispose of this water.
    • Close the valve.
    • Reconnect the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve.
    • Replace any filters and sanitize filter holders.
    • Flush the water lines in the machine.
    • Turn on the machine.
    • Make ice for 1 hour and dispose of this ice.
    • Clean and sanitize all parts and surfaces that come in contact with water and ice per the manufacturer's instructions.

Portable Humidifiers

  • Discard any water used in the device.
  • Rinse the device with clean water and sanitize.
  • If your humidifier has a filter, sanitize the humidifier and replace the filter.
    • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when you use bleach or any other cleaning product.
    • Use distilled or demineralized water in humidifiers.

Furnace Humidifiers

There is potential for bacteria to grow on humidifier pads and in humidifier reservoirs after a boil water advisory.

  • Follow manufacturer's guidelines to clean and disinfect all parts of the humidifier.
  • Replace humidifier pad if it cannot be disinfected.

Water Coolers / Drinking Fountains

Check water coolers/drinking fountains to determine if there is a filter. Follow filter replacement procedures where applicable.

  • Flush water coolers.
  • Run coolers with direct water connections for 5 minutes.

Water Softeners

  • Run water softeners through a full regeneration (flush) cycle.
Healthcare Facilities,

Checklist: What To Do After A Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

When a healthcare facility is notified that the boil water advisory has ended and the drinking water supply is safe, the following actions need to be immediately taken before water is consumed.

1. FLUSH WATER

Before the boil water advisory has ended determine process to flush the entire water system and receive assistance from contractors.

  • Calculate the water volume in the building to determine how long to flush water.
  • Inventory filters on equipment to determine if new filters need to be ordered.
  • Flush all equipment with water line connections according to manufacturers' instructions.
  • Remove aerators prior to flushing faucets.
  • Run all cold water faucets continuously for at least 5 minutes, or based on water volume calculations, to flush pipes.
  • Flush drinking fountains. Run water continuously for at least 5 minutes, or based on water volume calculations, to flush pipes.
  • Flush each area in the facility individually (e.g. every patient room, restroom, food service area).

Hot Water Tanks/Boilers

To clear hot water pipes and water heaters of untreated water:

  • Run hot water only at all faucets and flush until water runs cool or typically for a minimum of:
    • 15 minutes for a typical household 40 gallon hot water tank.
    • 30 minutes for a hot water tank greater than 40 gallons.
    • Consult water system professionals regarding the draining, flushing, or treatment for large capacity hot water tanks/boilers designed to deliver hot water.

Water Reservoirs & Storage Tanks

Large buildings with water-holding reservoirs:

  • Consult with the building facility engineer about draining the reservoir.
  • Drain, disinfect, flush, and refill water storage tanks according to your water management plan or professional consultant recommendations.

2. CHECK EQUIPMENT/DEVICES

Water Softeners

  • Run water softeners through a regeneration (flush) cycle.

Water Filters

Water filters that are commonly used in refrigerators, faucets, and under the sink, etc. are not designed to remove the specific bacteria commonly present during boil water advisory. If you ran water through your filter during the boil water advisory, the filter could be contaminated.

  • Remove and discard water filters.
  • Replace with a new filter following flushing.

Note: If you cannot flush or run water when filter is removed, replace with new filter after flushing. Always follow manufacturer's directions for filter replacement.

Steam Systems

Check steam system if clean steam is used for autoclaves.

Ice Machines

  • Clean and sanitize per manufacturer's instructions.
  • Flush ice machines by following the manufacturer's instructions, including:
    • Flush the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Close the valve on the water line behind the machine.
    • Disconnect the water line from the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve and run 5 gallons of water through the valve. Dispose of this water.
    • Close the valve.
    • Reconnect the water line to the machine inlet.
    • Open the valve.
    • Replace any filters and sanitize filter holders.
    • Flush the water lines in the machine.
    • Turn on the machine.
    • Make ice for 1 hour and dispose of this ice.
    • Clean and sanitize all parts and surfaces that come in contact with water and ice per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Drinking Fountains / Water Coolers

  • Run drinking fountains continuously for 5 minutes to flush the system.
  • Replace filter if applicable.

3. GENERAL

  • Resume usual hygiene practices and care.

Note: If a Healthcare establishment has a food service operation on site, please see the Food Establishment checklist for more information: https://www.oakgov.com/health/services/Documents/MDA_EmergencyActionPlan_109428_7.pdf

Pool Operators,

Checklist: What To Do After A Boil Water Advisory Has Ended

When a pool operator is notified that the boil water advisory has ended and the water supply is safe, the following actions need to be taken before you the water is consumed or used to fill the pool.

1. FLUSH WATER

  • Unscrew and remove faucet aerators (screen).


  • Turn on each cold water faucet/tap slowly.
  • Run cold water for five minutes.
  • Clean and reinstall aerator.

Follow this flushing procedure for each:

  • Swimming pool fill spout or inlet
  • Water fountain 
  • Shower
  • Hand sink

2. SUPERCHLORINATION
After flushing, superchlorination is needed. 

  • Temporarily close the pools for superchlorination. 
  • Conduct the superchlorination process.
    • Superchlorination is a formula that considers chlorine Concentration (C) in parts per million and Time (T) in minutes. This is called a CT value. To be effective against certain microbes, a CT value of 15,300 is needed.  This is calculated by multiplying concentration by time.  For example:
      • 10 parts per million X 1,530 minutes (25.5 hours) = 15,300
      • 20 parts per million X 765 minutes (12.75 hours) = 15,300

NOTE:  If your pool uses Bromine as a disinfectant, the automatic bromine feeder must be bypassed or turned off during the superchlorination process.

  • Ensure the filtration system is operating during the superchlorination process.
  • Backwash sand filters using standard procedures after superchlorination.
    • If Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters or cartridge filters are used, the DE or cartridge should be replaced.

3.  REOPEN POOL

  • Return chlorine or bromine levels and pH to normal operating levels before reopening.
  • Document activities in pool operation reports.

Additional Information For:

SPA AND WADE POOLS

  • Do not superchlorinate.
  • Do not add water to the spa/wade pool during the boil water advisory.
    • If fill water is needed, close the pool until the advisory has ended.

Once the advisory has ended:

  • Drain as necessary to flush fill spouts or inlets for at least 5 minutes. 
  • Drain the pool entirely.
  • Scrub all sides and bottom.
  • Refill again for normal use.

SPLASH PADS

  • Flush water features (where possible) for at least 5 minutes.
  • If a recirculating disinfectant is used, superchlorination is done at the surge tank. 
  • Temporarily close the splash pad while superchlorination circulates through the features. 
    • Note: This would be needed every time water is added during a boil water advisory.
    • Note: If the splash pad has no circulating disinfectant and is drained as wastewater during normal use periods, the splash pad should be turned off and closed to the public during the boil water advisory.  Flushing procedures should be followed prior to open.