Responding to a Water Boil Advisory

This spring we will be republishing our guide to responding to emergencies and disasters as Ready for Anything: Emergency and Disaster Response Guide. This valuable resource will feature all the previous content, such as this piece on responding to a water boil advisory, which isn’t quite so straightforward for any district with public food service.

We are also updating the guidance on some types of incidents such as Cyber Attacks, which have become much more prevalent in the last few years.

Additionally, we are adding content that has been frequently requested by members. These include:

  • Phishing Attacks
  • Ransomware
  • Terrorist Attacks
  • Active Shooter Incidents
  • Employee Fatalities

If you would like free updated copies of this guide, let us know how many and where to send them by contacting csdpool@mcgriff.com.

Responding to a Water Boil Advisory

IF LOCAL WATER UTILITIES ISSUE A WATER BOIL ADVISORY DUE TO CONTAMINATION

  1. Notify district management as appropriate
  2. Take the following safety measures:
    • Shut down machines that dispense soda, ice, water, or mist
    • Destroy all ice in ice machines
    • Use commercially produced ice only
    • Shut down all coffee and tea makers, and deactivate drinking fountains
    • Discard any food produced using tap water
    • Use pre-washed produce only
    • Use bottled water for cooking or consumption
    • Use bottled or boiled water to wash hands
    • Use hand sanitizer
    • Use gloves when handling food

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOILING WATER

  1. Place water in a clean and sanitized pot or heat safe container
  2. Using a stove, bring the water to a boil
  3. Continue rolling boil for at least 5 minutes
  4. After five minutes, if necessary, cool water by placing it in another sanitized container and store in the refrigerator or cooler

AFTER THE ADVISORY HAS BEEN LIFTED

  1. Flush faucets, coffee urns, and drinking fountains, for 5 minutes
  2. Clean and sanitize coffee and beverage equipment per manufacturer’s instructions
  3. If equipment has internal filters, they need to be replaced
  4. Flush water lines to ice machines
  5. Close the valve in the water line behind ice machines. Open the valve and reconnect the water line to the machine, open the valve, flush the machine, make ice for one hour and then dispose of that ice
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