Governor Patrick Lifts Boil Water Order: Water Safe to Drink After Flushing Plumbing and Appliances
Posted May 04 2010 5:52am
Early on May 4, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick lifted the emergency boil water order for all 30 communities affected by the water line break in Weston on Saturday, May 1. Governor Patrick made the announcement after extensive testing found that the water in the affected cities and towns was safe to drink.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Agency (MWRA) is advising persons and businesses in the affected area to “flush” their plumbing of any potentially contaminated water. Flushing your household and building water lines should include all interior and exterior faucets, showers, water and ice dispensers, water treatment units, and other tanks or devices in which water is stored.
Here are the MWRA’s recommendations for different plumbing fixtures, appliances, and food items:
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.
The MWRA notes that, “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.”