Boil Water Q & A

Why do we have to boil water?

Seacoast generally provides water pressure in the range of 50 to 60 pounds per square inch (psi) at the customer’s meter. Whenever an incident occurs that reduces pressure to below 20 psi for an extended period of time, the potential for backflow or back siphoning of undesirable material into the drinking water system increases.

To assure that the water is safe to drink, regulations require public drinking water suppliers to issue a “precautionary boil water” order to their customers. Such orders are generally in effect for 48 to 72 hours, long enough for the water utility to collect and analyze samples from the affected portion of its system. If samples indicate bacteriological contamination (as they very rarely do), the utility issues a notice extending the boil water order until testing indicates that water quality is acceptable.

Boiling water as directed, generally inactivates disease-causing microorganisms if any are present. It is a precautionary interim disinfecting measure which is relatively simple and highly effective, and which provides extra security while laboratory analyses confirming the water’s safety are in progress.

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