Boil water advisory: What is safe?

Boil water notice
Boil water notice(
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 11:03 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The city of Memphis remains under a boil water advisory. This means that tap water is likely unsafe to drink, and should be boiled before consuming it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some tips on what you can and can’t do during a boil water advisory.

For drinking and preparing food, bottled water is suggested. If that’s not available, it’s recommended you bring water to a rolling boil for three minutes. Then allow the water to cool before use.

Can I use a water filter instead? No. Water filters do not remove the contaminants. This water still needs to be boiled.

What about my coffee maker? Boil your water first. Most coffee makers do not boil water enough to make it safe in the case of a boil water advisory.

Can I use it to wash my hands? Yes. Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and rinse well. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Can I use it to bathe? Yes, but be careful to not swallow any of the water. With young children, consider giving them a sponge bath so they don’t accidentally swallow any of the water.

Can I use it to brush my teeth? No. You should boil water or use bottled water to brush your teeth with.

Can I use it to wash my dishes? Dishwashers are safe if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit and the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle. If washing by hand, wash and rinse the dishes as you would normally using hot water. In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water. Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute, and let the dishes air dry completely.

Can I do my laundry? Yes. It is safe to wash your clothes.

What about my pets? You should be giving your pets boiled or bottled water. The same germs that can get humans sick can get pets sick.

What about my plants? It is safe to use tap water for household plants and gardens.

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