Occasionally, the water system's main will have to be shut down due to low pressure. When this happens, there is a possibility of contaminants entering the water system, so the city's water superintendent will put a boil order into effect for impacted properties. A boil order is an extra precaution to ensure that residents do not become sick from ingesting water contaminants.
When a boil order is in place, tap water should not be used for drinking, brushing your teeth, cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, etc. Instead, you should use bottled water for these activities or bring tap water to a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes before using.
In the event a boil order becomes necessary, water works personnel will go door to door informing residents. If no one is home, they will leave a tag on the door notifying residents of the boil order. If possible, the City of Monticello will also communicate the boil order on its website, via the community notification system, and/or through social media platforms.
Some frequently asked questions about boil orders:
Can I wash my hands with tap water during a boil order?
Best practice would be to use bottled water or tap water that has been boiled for 3-5 minutes for hand washing during a boil order. If neither of those options are practical and you must use tap water to wash or rinse your hands, it is recommended that you apply hand sanitizer afterwards.
Can I shower or take a bath during a boil order?
While it is safe to shower or bathe in tap water during a boil order, it is important not to consume the water. Children should be instructed not to put the water in their mouths while bathing. Special precautions should be taken with infants and it is recommended that bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3-5 minutes then cooled as needed be used for bathing infants.
Can I wash my dishes during a boil order?
You should only use bottled water or water that has been boiled for 3-5 minutes to wash dishes during a boil order. Electric dishwashers should not be used as there is no assurance they will be able to completely kill organisms that may be in the water.
Can I do laundry during a boil order?
Yes, it is safe to wash clothes during a boil order. The primary concern is with consuming the water.
Can my pets drink tap water during a boil order?
Animals are not always affected by contaminants in the water in the same way as humans; however, you may wish to give your pets bottled water or water that has been boiled 3-5 minutes then cooled as needed. Fish tanks should not be affected by a boil order.
How long does a boil order last?
Each boil order is handled on a case-by-case basis and will remain in place until testing shows that the water once again meets public health standards. The City of Monticello will notify affected residents that a boil order has been lifted via door knocking/tagging.