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Boil Water Advisories and Orders

Person holding a pot of boiling water on a stove

A Boil Water Advisory (BWA) is a recommendation made to residents to only drink tap water if it has been boiled for at least one minute.

Generally, the Health Unit issues a BWA when there is known contamination of a water supply OR when there is a risk of contamination to the water supply. The BWA helps to protect the health of the community that the water system serves.

Residents will be notified by the Health Unit when the BWA is lifted and the water is safe to drink without boiling.

What to Do During a Boil Water Advisory

For your protection during a BWA, you are strongly urged to boil all water (which is to be used for human consumption) for at least one minute.

  • Water which is to be used for drinking, making baby food, mixing formula or fruit juices, ice, washing fruits and vegetables, or teeth brushing must first be boiled. Start timing one minute only after the water has reached a full rolling boil on your stove or in your kettle.
  • Store the cooled, boiled water in a container, which has been sanitized and has a lid or other means of covering the container. Sanitize the container by washing it in a solution of one gallon of water plus 1/4 cup of bleach. Clean your countertops, sinks dishes and utensils using this solution as well. Do not drink this solution.
  • All fruits and vegetables that will not be cooked should be washed in water that you have boiled.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap to prevent the spread of bacteria. Make sure hands are properly washed after using the toilet, handling diapers, pets, livestock and before preparing food. Wash your hands with soap under running water. After hands are washed and thoroughly dried, apply 60 per cent alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Rub hands together with the amount specified on the label until your hands are dry. Cover all surfaces of your hands. The alcohol content of the sanitizer completely evaporates as it dries. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are disinfectants that contain at least 60 percent alcohol, ethanol, isopropanol or a mixture of both.
  • Adults may shower with untreated water as long as no water is swallowed. Adults or young children should sponge-bathe instead of using tub baths. Use a clean supply of water if possible.

For more information, speak to a Public Health Inspector by calling toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006 (After hours number: 1-888-255-7839).

View current boil water advisories and orders in each area:

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