FAQ / Using tap water during a boil water notice

Using tap water during a boil water notice

When a boil water notice is in effect, consumers need to boil tap water before drinking, using for food preparation or cleaning. This is used when bacteria is present in the drinking water, or there is the potential for bacteria to be present in the drinking water.

Use the following guidelines for what you can do when a boil water notice is in place. 

Can I use my coffee machine, soda machine or ice maker?

Machines that are connected to the water supply should not be used. Use boiled water or bottled water for making coffee, ice or soda drinks.

Can I use the shower and bath?

Yes you can, as long as you don’t swallow the water. Toddlers and infants should be sponge bathed to reduce the chance of them swallowing the water.

Can I still use the water for washing the dishes and doing the laundry?

Dishes can be washed using boiled water. If your dishwasher has a hot setting, it can be used to wash dishes. If it doesn’t have a hot setting, once it’s finished, rinse the dishes in a bleach solution afterwards (2 drops unscented household bleach per 1 litre of water). Allow the dishes to completely air dry. You can continue to do your laundry as you normally would.

Is it safe to wash my hands in the tap water?

Yes it is, as long as you follow a proper handwashing technique. This includes rubbing all parts of your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds and drying your hands.

What about teeth brushing and shaving?

Only use boiled or bottled water to brush your teeth. You can shave as usual using tap water.

What should I do about feeding my baby?

If breastfeeding, continue as usual. If you are using baby formula, prepare using bottled or cooled, boiled water. Wash and sterilise bottles and teats by boiling or microwaving.

What about my pets?

Pets can usually drink untreated water.