Note: This information supersedes the “Issuing and Rescinding a Boil Water Advisory” portion of the Cryptosporidium and Water Handbook.
During a Boil Water Advisory
Children and employees should not consume:
- water that has not been disinfected,
- ice or drinks made with water that has not been disinfected, or
- raw foods rinsed with water that has not been disinfected.
Discontinue service of equipment with water line connections (e.g., post-mix beverage machines, spray misters, auto-fill coffee/tea makers, instant hot water heaters, ice machines, etc.).
Discard ice made prior to the boil water advisory issuance and discontinue making ice. Use commercially-manufactured ice.
Discontinue all on-site water play or swimming activities involving non-chlorinated and unfiltered water (e.g., water tables, inflatable or rigid temporary swimming pools).
All employees with diarrheal illness should be regulated by standard rules of exclusion from work. See: Prevention & Control Measures for Outbreaks at Childcare Facilities.
For drinking water, use:
- commercially-bottled water
and/or water that has been disinfected for Cryptosporidium by:
- boiling at a rolling boil for 1 minute (at altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (>2,000 m), boil water for 3 minutes), or
- and/or water hauled from an approved public water supply in a covered sanitized container
- and/or water from a licensed drinking water hauler truck.
For cooking and food preparation:
- Discard any ready-to-eat food prepared with water prior to the discovery of the water contamination.
- Prepare/cook ready-to-eat food using the drinking water alternatives listed above.
For cooking and food preparation equipment/utensils/tableware:
- Use single service/use articles and/or clean and sanitize equipment/utensils/tableware using the drinking water alternatives listed above. Follow the established procedures to wash, rinse, and sanitize.
- Cryptosporidium on equipment/utensils/tableware may be disinfected using dishwashing machines that have a dry cycle or a final rinse that exceeds 113°F for 20 minutes or 122°F for 5 minutes or 162°F for 1 minute.
- Wet your hands with the drinking water alternatives listed above and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Rinse your hands well under running water – if running water is not available, water may be poured on your hands by another person.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
If soap and disinfected water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands.
- Apply product to the palm of one hand.
- Rub hands together.
- Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.
When The Boil Water Advisory is Cancelled
- Make sure equipment with water line connections (e.g., filters, post-mix beverage machines, spray misters, auto-fill coffee/tea makers, instant hot water heaters, ice machines, glass washers, dishwashers, etc.) is flushed, cleaned, and sanitized according to manufacturers’ instructions.
- Managers of large buildings with water-holding reservoirs should consult their facility engineer and health department about draining the reservoir.
- Flush pipes and faucets. Run cold water faucets continuously for at least 5 minutes.
- Flush drinking fountains. Run water continuously for at least 5 minutes.
- Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle.
- Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 113°F.
- Change all point-of-entry and point-of-use water filters, including those associated with equipment that uses water.