When there is a loss in water pressure, due to a broken water pipe or a scheduled outage for repairs, a Precautionary Boil Water Notice (PBWN) is issued. If the number of affected Members is small, then each Member will be informed individually using a printed notice hung on his/her front door. Otherwise, the notice will be provided for broadcast from the local radio and/or television station and posted on our website at www.talquinelectric.com.
Water pressure keeps unhealthy pollutants from entering the underground pipes that bring drinking water to your home or business. When pressure is lost, due to a broken water main or a scheduled outage, contaminants can seep into the pipes allowing pathogens (disease-causing germs) into the water. Such contaminants can cause illness if ingested through use of prepared food or beverages. Therefore, as a precaution, it is important to disinfect tap water to kill any bacteria or viruses that may have entered the water.
Under a PBWN, water used for consumption can be disinfected by any one of the following methods:
· Bringing the water to a rolling boil and holding it there for one (1) minute.
· If you cannot boil water, such as during a power outage, use a disinfecting chemical. You should put eight (8) drops of common household bleach which is about 1/8th teaspoon, into one (1) gallon of tap water, then shake it, and allow it to stand for 30 minutes before drinking. If the water is cloudy, use sixteen (16) drops, about ¼ teaspoon of bleach instead of 8 drops, shake it, and let it stand for 30 minutes. There should be a slight chlorine odor. Use common household bleach that has 5 to 6% active ingredients. Use food grade containers. Don’t use bleach that has perfume scents added.
· Using water purification tablets or iodine that are sold in many sports and camping stores. You can also buy commercial bottled water for consumption and food preparation.
These methods are in accordance with the Department of Health’s Guidelines which can be found online at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/water/manual/boil.htm.
Consumption includes using water to brush teeth, washing fruits and vegetables, and making ice. During a PBWN, tap water may be used for showering, baths, shaving, and washing. Caution should be taken to avoid swallowing or allowing water in the eyes, nose or mouth. Children and disabled individuals should be supervised while taking a shower or bath to ensure water is not ingested. The time spent bathing should be minimized. Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, a compromised immune system, or chronic illness should consider using bottled or boiled water for cleansing until the notice is lifted.
During a PBWN, businesses and non-residential sites should take precautions such as posting notices on water fountains and ice machines or disable the devices. If you provide water to visitors or employees, use commercially produced bottled water for drinking or beverage preparation (coffee). Food service operations have additional requirements from their regulatory agency.
After the water system is repaired, and the pressure is restored in the pipes to your home or business, the PBWN remains in effect for one to several days. During this time, bacteria tests are conducted to assure the safety of the water. The notice will be rescinded only after tests prove the water is safe to drink. If the PBWN only affects a small amount of Members, the rescind notification will be issued in a similar manner as the initial notice. Otherwise, the media will be provided informational updates on the radio and television.