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What You Should Know
During a Boil Water Advisory

          Greenup, KY; January 31, 2014:  When local water districts have problems brought on by extreme weather people start asking questions.  They are all good questions, but where do you go for answers?  The Greenup County Health Department wants you to have the information you need in order to plan your response in these harsh times.

          Erin Fannin, Environmentalist at GCHD, gave us a few of the answers.  We asked, how long should water be boiled before using it under a boil water advisory?  Fannin said that the water “should be boiled for at least 3 minutes.”

          We asked, what exactly can the boiled water be used for?  Fannin said “Boiled or bottled water should be used for food prep, hand washing, and dish/food prep surface washing, fountain drinks and ice machines as well as any other product that is directly connected to the water supply.” 

          How can food service workers wash their hands?  “They should use a temporary hand wash station.”  Fannin said.  “It consists of potable (boiled and cooled or bottled) water in a dispenser with a spigot.  This can be a coffee urn or an igloo type cooler, a catch bucket for waste water, soap, and individual use paper towels.”

          What if a food service establishment, school, or daycare doesn’t have running water?  Fannin said, “If they have a plan in place and can provide enough bottled water for hand washing, food prep, flushing commodes, and to keep the establishment sanitary, it is possible to continue operating.  Many establishments cannot provide enough water and/or staff to keep the facilities in a sanitary condition, and therefore close temporarily.  Any plan to operate with no running water should be reviewed by the Health Department before implementing it.”

          What should be done when the boil water advisory is lifted?  “Any equipment that is connected to the water supply shall be flushed, cleaned and sanitized.” Fannin said.  “The water should be allowed to run until it is clear.  Any line filter shall be replaced and the first batch of ice or other product containing the water shall be discarded.”


For more information contact the Greenup County Health Department Environmental Health Office by calling 606-473-9838.

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©Greenup County Health Department. Page last updated Monday, July 15, 2019