Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox
Water systems and state or local agencies issue drinking water advisories when they believe water quality is or may be compromised. Advisories tell individuals, schools, hospitals, businesses, and others about the situation and how to take immediate action—to boil tap water before drinking, for example, or to avoid drinking or even using tap water.
What's in the Toolbox?
The Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox provides a practical guide and protocol for communicating with stakeholders and the public about water advisories that is based upon research and identified practices. It focuses on water systems and addresses the spectrum of situations that generate drinking water advisories—from a water main break to a hurricane, a drop in pressure, or intentional contamination.
The toolbox provides information on how to plan for, develop, implement, and evaluate drinking water advisories. It includes instructions on how to prepare before an event, what to do during an event, templates and tools to use, and recommendations for follow-up actions and assessments after an event to enable water systems to communicate effectively with partners and the public in order to protect public health.
How to Use the Toolbox
The toolbox is available in two formats:
- This comprehensive website, with features to make finding, using, and customizing information quick and easy:
- Book format with table of contents
- Web pages optimized for easy printing with appropriate page breaks
- More than 40 downloadable and customizable tools and templates in Microsoft Word format, including checklists, fact sheets, and press releases
- Spanish-language frequently asked questions lists
- Links to online resources and a full bibliography
- A complete PDF document [PDF - 166 pages] that includes all content, tools, and templates
Two types of icons appear throughout the text to highlight links to supplemental items:
- Tools and Templates in Word format (e.g., worksheets, press templates, FAQs, etc.)
- Example: See Exercise Planning Template.[DOC - 2 pages]
- Resources (e.g., websites, regulations and guidance documents, journal articles, etc.)
Get email updates
To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC–INFO
- For more information, please contact us at healthywater@