Continued:  Making Water Safe at Home

Heath & Hygiene

Those that already drank the water most probably will not get sick, but for those who may , the symptoms are similar to food poisoning: nausea, diarrhea, cramps, and possibly a mild fever.

The most important thing to do is avoid dehydration and drink plenty of fluids avoiding caffeinated drinks such as soda, coffee, and tea.  Those concerned about their health should contact a health care provider.

Brushing Teeth:  It is best to brush your teeth with SAFE Water, although when brushing, the amount of water swallowed is much less than when drinking the water.

Washing Hands: Use soap and tap water, dry hands then apply hand sanitizer, the safest option is to wash with safe water. 

Shower or Bath:  Being careful not to swallow any water, one may take a shower safely.  Using caution when bathing infants and young children so  that no water is swallowed is considered fairly safe.  A sponge bath reduces the chance of swallowing water.  Time spent bathing should be minimized.  Children and disabled individuals should have thier bath supervised to ensure water in not ingested.  Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, are immunosuppressed, or have a chronic illness may want to consider using bottled or boiled water for cleansing until the advisory is lifted.  

Shaving:  Use tap water

Laundry:  It is safe to wash clothes and lines in tap water as long as the clothes are completely dried with heat before being used.  Although, brown water that sometimes occurs during a boil water event may discolor items.

Toilets:  Use as usual.

​​East Feliciana Rural Water Material Evaluation Survey of well sites.

​​What is DHH on my  water bill?

The DHH charge of $1.00 is a monthly assessment charged by the Department of Health and Hospitals. EFRW, just as every water system in the State of LA, is required to collect this fee from each water user and remit to the state of Louisiana.  

During a Boil Advisory, what water is considered safe for consumption?

During an effective Boil Water Advisory the following is considered SAFE Water:

*Boiled Water - Boiling water will inactivate pathogenic microorganisms from the water.

*Bottled Water - is not sterile, but does not contain any pathogens.  There is an expiration dater for bottle water.

*Disinfected water - Chemical disinfection can also be used, however this may not be as reliable as boiling water for destroying organisms.

Freezing water and filtering water will not disinfect water; and therefore, are NOT Considered Safe Water.

What is a "Voluntary / Precautionary" Boil Advisory?

A "Voluntary / Precautionary Boil Advisory is based on the failure of or substantial interruption in the water treatment processes, or circumstances that compromise the distribution system such as loss of pressure within the system, a water main break, loss of disinfection, and unexpected water quality problems.

Pets & Plants:

Dogs & Cats:  Many pets are drinking water when they are outside and seldom get sick, so tap water is relatively safe.  The safest option is to give them SAFE Water.

Fish  & Aquatic:  (eg. reptiles, frogs) do not usually get infected by the same germs that infect people.  If the water system is using more chlorine or changing disinfection, it may be hazzardous to change the water in a fish tank or aquarium.  Contact a loca pet sore or veterinarian for more advice.

It's safe to water the garden and house plants.

​​What can I use to clean brown water stains?

Do NOT use Bleach / Clorux to clean brown water stains in clothes, tubs, sinks, or toilets.  Bleach will set the stain permanently.  White Distilled Vinegar is an alternative for both clothes and household appliances.  Include approximately 1 cup to your washing machine with your detergent.  Your clothes will not smell like vinegar when the wash / rinse cycle is complete.  You can also clean your bathroom with vinegar and a non-abrasive sponge. Be sure to rinse with fresh water when cleaning process is complete.   A second alternative cleaning agent would be hydrogen peroxide.

How do I boil water to make it SAFE for consumption?

Boiling water will inactivate pathogenic microorganisms from water. 

Fill a pot with water.  Heat the water until bubbles come from the bottom of the pot to the top.  Once the water reaches a rolling boil, let boil for one minute.  Turn off the heat source and let water cool.  Make sure that the water is cooled enough to prevent scalding.  Pour water into a clean container with a cover for storage.

Some people do not like the taste of boiled water.  To improve the taste: pour cooled water back and fourth from one clean glass  into another to add air to the water.  Let the water stand for a few hours. Add a pinch of salt to each quart of boiled water.

How do I make water safe at home during a Boil Advisory?

During a Boil Water Advisory, you can take the following precautions regarding Food and Beverages, Health, Hygiene, Pets, and Plants.

Food & Beverages:

Use only SAFE Water for coffee makers, ice trays, and other appliances into which water is poured.  Brewing Coffee does NOT provide sufficient heat to make water safe.  Use SAFE Water when preparing drinks, such as tee, lemonade, and mixed alcoholic drinks.

Do Not use water from any appliance connected to water lines such as ice or water dispensers from a refrigerator.  Filters do not remove or inactivate bacteria or viruses.

Do not use ice from ice trays made with tap water before the advisory, ice dispensers, or ice makers.  Throw out all ice made with tap water.  Make new ice with boiled or bottled water.

Wash fruits and vegetables with SAFE water.

Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute before adding food to cook.

Wash food preparation surfaces with boiled water or disinfected water.

Baby feeding:

* Breastfeeding is best.  Any cleaning must be done with SAFE Water.

* Use ready to use formula, or prepare powdered / concentrated formula with SAFE water (bottled water would be best).  Use SAFE water to wash and sterilize bottles, and nipples before use.


* Dishwashers are safe to use if the water reaches a temperature of at least 160 degrees, or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.

* To wash by hand - wash and rinse the dishes as normal using hot water.  In a separate basin, add on teaspoon of unscented household bleach for each gallon of warm water.  Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least (1) minute.  Let the dishes air dry completely.

East Feliciana Rural Water System, Inc.

Incorporated 1972