Get the Facts About Boiling Water

By DHEC Communications Staff

boil water

With many areas throughout the state currently under boil water advisories, here are some tips to keep your water safe.

Boiling Water for Drinking

  • Fill a pot with water.
  • Heat the water until bubbles come from the bottom of the pot to the top.
  • Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let it boil for 1 minute.
  • Turn off the heat source and let the water cool.
  • Pour the water into a clean container with a cover for storage.

Visit DHEC’s guide for home cooks and emergency guidelines for businesses.

For more information, please visit the EPA website or the American Public Health Association website.

Private Wells

Private wells can be impacted by flooding events – so please take precautions to ensure the water is safe to drink. If your well was affected by flooding, vigorously boil your water for at least one full minute prior to drinking or cooking, disinfect the well, and have your drinking water tested.

For step-by-step instructions, please click here.

Be careful: Before disinfection, check the condition of your well. Make sure there is no exposed or damaged wiring. If you notice any damage, call a professional before the disinfection process.

If you have a private well that was flooded during the recent flooding event, your well water could be contaminated. To ensure your private well water is safe to drink, you can have it tested for fecal coliform bacteria.

To help serve the need of those impacted by flooding across the state, several DHEC environmental offices will also be open for water test pick-ups and drop-offs on weekends from October 10, 2015 through November 1, 2015.

Learn more about testing and general information on DHEC’s private well information page.

Loss of Water / Low Water Pressure

If you lose water pressure or have low pressure, consider the following:

  • Limit the use of water for non-essential uses (use disposable plates and utensils and avoid washing clothes).
  • Flush toilets as little as possible or use a temporary toilet.
  • Use stored water to flush toilet – only when necessary (if using other water to flush, pour water from a pail directly into the bowl – and not into the tank). A pail of water from a non-sanitary source could be used if not dangerous to access.
  • If your water pressure returns, but may be intermittent, fill your bath tub for future toilet flushing.

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