Health department announces boil water advisories

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The Department of Public Health today announced that 82 small public
drinking water systems in the state are under a boil water advisory. The majority of public water
suppliers, including the larger public water systems, which serve approximately 2.7 million
Connecticut residents, were able to maintain water safety and service throughout the storm.

The list of 82 systems under a boil water advisory serve a total population of 11,072, approximately 0.31 percent of the state’s total population. Towns with systems under advisory include Danbury, New Milford and Ridgefield. View a complete list at http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/communications/cerc/sandy_boilwater.pdf.

Public drinking water systems that are experiencing power outages and do not have a backup power source are issuing boil water advisories as a precautionary measure. DPH is monitoring these systems and working to contact other small public drinking water systems to determine their status and offer assistance as needed. Affected public water systems will notify customers if a boil water advisory is announced.

While some large public water supply systems in the state lost their normal power source, emergency power capabilities allowed them to operate normally to protect their water supply. DPH continues to monitor and provide assistance to these systems to ensure drinking water safety.

Residents Under Boil Water Advisory
Residential customers who have been advised by their water system of a boil water advisory
should:

Safely boil their water by bringing it to a rolling boil for one minute. A rolling boil means
that there are very large bubbles in the water, making the water move very quickly. Make
sure the water does not have any floating pieces in it before you boil it. To make the
boiled water taste better, pour the water back and forth between two clean containers a
few times. Boiled water should be allowed to cool to a safe temperature before drinking
or handling.

Use boiled or bottled water when cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth,
or making baby formula. Boiled water should be allowed to cool to a safe temperature
before drinking and handling.

Use water that has previously boiled and cooled to a safe temperature or bottled water to
wash hands when cooking.

An alternative method of purification for residents that do not have gas or electricity is to
use liquid household bleach to disinfect water. The bleach product should be recently
purchased, free of additives and scents, and should contain a hypochlorite solution of at
least 5.25%. Public health officials recommend adding 8 drops of bleach (about ¼
teaspoon) to each gallon of water. The water should be stirred and allowed to stand for at
least 30 minutes before use.

Adults and older children do not need to use boiled water to shower or bathe, but should
try not to swallow any water or get any water into their mouths. Infants, toddlers, the
elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems should be bathed using
water that has been previously boiled and cooled to a safe temperature or bottled water.
Homeowners in flooded areas whose private wells have flooded should consider their wells
contaminated. For information on disinfecting flooded wells, go to www.ct.gov/dph/floods.

Large public water systems serve a population of 2.7 million people in Connecticut. There are
approximately 500 smaller community public water systems that each serve less than 1,000
people.

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Categories: General, health
Amanda Cuda

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