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Power Outages and Safe Drinking Water   

When the power goes out, water purification systems may fail and water may not be available or it can become contaminated. Your local health department can make specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area. Safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene includes bottled, boiled or treated water. Follow these general guidelines for safe water during a power outage:

  • Do not use contaminated water to wash or prepare food, wash dishes or hands, brush your teeth, make ice or use for baby formula. If possible, use baby formula that does not need to have water added. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands.
  • If using bottled water, be sure it came from a safe source. If you are uncertain if the water came from a safe source, boil or treat it before using it. Use only bottled, boiled or treated water until your supply is tested and found safe.
  • Boiling water, when practical, is the preferred way to kill harmful bacteria and parasites. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most organisms.
  • If using chlorine tablets or iodine tablets, follow the directions that come with the tablets. Note: Treating water with chlorine tablets, iodine tablets or liquid bleach will not kill parasitic organisms.
  • Use a bleach solution to rinse water containers before reusing them. 

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