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NEWS ALERT for Boston: The Water Ban Is Over

Posted May 04 2010 5:25am
Boston folks - the water ban has been lifted. Skip down to see detailed steps on how to "flush" your water before you start using it.

Non-Boston readers - here's the background: After a water pipe sprang a leak in a western MA suburb on Saturday, 30 towns and communities, including Greater Boston have been without potable water. While the government said boiling water for at least a minute was sufficient for cooking and cleaning, the "aquapocalypse" created a rush on bottled water and shortages at many stores - including mine (see photo below).

This morning, Governor Deval Patrick lifted the water ban. You can read the press release , but I wanted to highlight the important next steps for anyone who was affected by the boil water order
Residents are advised to “flush” their water following the lifting of the 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, 1 minute or more, before drinking, tooth brushing, or using for food preparation. 
  • Hot Water Faucets: To clear hot water pipes and water heater of untreated water, turn on all hot water faucets and flush for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon hot water tank and 30 minutes for an 80-gallon hot water tank or larger. Never use water from the “hot” faucet for drinking, cooking, or other internal-consumption purposes. After this flushing, hot water is then safe to use for washing hands, and for hand-washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc.  
  • Refrigerators Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed by at least one quart of water.
  • 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: Be sure you have discarded any baby formula or other foods prepared with water on the days of the boil order. (If unsure of the dates contact your water Department.)
  • Ice cubes: Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil order.  Then, discard ice made over an additional 24 hour period to assure complete purging of the water supply line.
Due to the flushing of the lines by residents and the flushing of the hydrants, some customers may experience a lack of water pressure and/or discolored water. However, this is an expected result and does not pose a health risk. Contact your local Water Department if you have any questions.
Additional information for food establishments can be found at  www.mwra.com .
--Governor's Press Release, May 4, 2010

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