East Central Bossier Water System advises customers to disinfect their water by boiling it
Thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon caused a power loss that shut down the water facility
BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) — East Central Bossier Water System has issued a boil advisory for all of its customers.
Thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon caused a three-phase power loss that shut down the water facility, said Larry Landry, Bossier Parish utilities director. Generator power was restored manually. The system now is regaining water and pressure.
Meantime, it is recommended that all consumers in the impacted area disinfect their water before consuming it. This includes water used for fountain drinks, making ice, brushing teeth or used in food preparation or rinsing of foods.
Boil water for one (1) full minute in a clean container. The minute starts after the water has been brought to a rolling boil.
The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a clean bottle, pouring it from one clean container to another or by adding a pinch of salt to each quart of water that is boiled.
Bossier Consolidated Waterworks/Sewerage District 1 will notify customers when the advisory is rescinded by the Louisiana Office of Public Health after collected samples show the water to be safe.
BOIL ADVISORY SURVIVAL TIPS
Following is some of the advice KSLA News 12 has gleaned from what various water systems and medical providers have posted on the internet.
- Water filters or sediment filters do not remove bacteria from the water. Your water softener will not remove bacteria.
- Throw away all of your ice. Presume that it’s contaminated.
- If you think you may have used contaminated water to cook, just throw the food away. It’s the best way to ensure you are protecting yourself and your family.
- Wash your hands with bottled water or boiled water that’s been allowed to cool
- Then use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
BOIL YOUR WATER
- Use caution when boiling water around children
- Bring water to a rolling boil and leave it there for at least one full minute. That should be enough to kill any bacteria.
- The flat taste can be eliminated by shaking the water in a clean bottle, pouring it from one clean container to another or by adding a pinch of salt to each quart of water that is boiled
- Use caution when boiling water around children
- Let the boiled water cool before use
- Put the boiled water in a sanitized container. To disinfect a container, combine 1 teaspoon of bleach with a quart of water in the container, shake it up, let it set for 30 seconds, drain it then let it air dry.
USES FOR BOILED WATER
Use boiled or bottled water for any instance in which you might swallow the water. That means for:
- washing fruits and vegetables
- brushing your teeth
- making ice
Pets are the same as we are. They too need to drink water that was previously boiled; otherwise, they could get sick.
WHAT ABOUT BATHING?
- Sponge bathe babies to ensure no water gets in their mouths
- As for yourself, you can use the tap water to shower if you have no open sores. And after you shower, it is recommended that you immediately wash your hands with water that has been boiled or bottled water and use hand sanitizer.
WHAT ABOUT THE DISHES?
- Hand wash dishes using boiled water
- Or wash the dishes in soapy tap water. But then rinse them in a solution of 1 teaspoon of bleach to each gallon of water then let them air dry.
- Better still, use disposable plates, cups and utensils
HOW ABOUT THE LAUNDRY?
Washing clothes is fine. Just do it on the highest water temperature. And use the highest setting on your dryer when you get done. If something might shrink, hold off on washing it until after the boil advisory is lifted.
WHAT IF I CAN’T BOIL WATER?
If you lack the facilities to boil the water, you can chemically disinfect the water by one of the following methods:
- For each gallon of clear water, you need 1/8 of a teaspoon of bleach. Combine the two. Shake it up. Let it set for 30 minutes to disinfect it.
- If your water is cloudy, first filter it with a cloth like a white t-shirt. Then use 1/4 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. Shake it up. Let it set for 30 minutes to disinfect the water.
WHAT IF I ACCIDENTALLY INGEST SOME OF THE POSSIBLY TAINTED WATER?
- Symptoms of ingesting water tainted with bacteria could include fever, abdominal pain, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. The most important thing to do at that point is to hydrate. If your symptoms do not improve over a few hours, seek medical attention.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A BOIL ADVISORY IS LIFTED
Residents are advised to “flush” their water following the lifting of a boil order in order to clear plumbing of potentially contaminated water. Flushing your household and building water lines includes interior and exterior faucets; showers; water and ice dispensers; water treatment units, etc.
Cold water faucets: Run tap water until the water feels cold, one minute or more, before drinking, brushing teeth or using for food preparation. If you have a single-lever faucet, set it to run the cold water first.
Hot water faucets: To clear hot water pipes and water heater of untreated water, flush the hot water line for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon water heater, 30 minutes for an 80-gallon water heater or larger. Hot water is then safe to use for washing hands and for handwashing of dishes, pots and pans, etc. Never use water from the hot faucet for drinking, cooking or other internal consumption.
Dishwashers: After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher empty one time.
Humidifiers: Discard any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral, medical, or health care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.
Food and baby formula: Discard any baby formula and other foods prepared with water on the day or days of the boil order. If unsure of the dates, contact your water department.
Refrigerator water dispenser: Refrigerator water dispensers should be flushed by at least one quart of water. If unsure of your dispenser’s capacity, refer to your manufacturer specifications.
Ice cubes: Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil water order and run through a 24-hour cycle, discarding the ice to ensure purging of the ice maker water supply line. For medical, dental, and food service establishments, refer to the guidance from your local health department.
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