Boil Order

WHAT IS A BOIL ORDER?  A boil order is a public notification to customers notifying them to boil tap water before consuming it.. Boil orders are issued when:  1) an event has occurred with the potential to adversely affect water quality (i.e. water main break) and 2)  a situation has occurred where there is known degradation of the water quality.

HOW CAN I RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS WHEN A BOIL ORDER IS IN EFFECT AND HAS BEEN LIFTED?  The quickest way to be notified of a boil order is to sign up on "CodeRed."  Notification will be posted on the electronic message board located at the corner of Route 3 and Sand Bank Road, and two portable electronic messages boards will be placed in high-traffic areas.  Depending on the time of day, notification will also be listed on the home page of this website and the City’s Facebook page.

WHAT ACTIONS DO I NEED TO TAKE?  Do not drink the water without boiling it first.  Bring water to a rolling boil, let it boil for five minutes, and cool before using; or use bottled water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until you are notified that the boil order has been lifted.

We also recommend the following steps: 

  • Throw away uncooked food or beverages or ice cubes made with tap water during the day(s) of the boil order.
  • Water that has been boiled and cooled should be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing.
  • Provide pets with boiled water after cooling.
  • Do not use home filtering devises in place of boiling or using bottled water.  Most home water filters will not provide adequate protection for microorganisms.
  • Use only water that has been boiled to treat minor injuries.  When showering or bathing, avoid allowing the water to come in contact with an open wound.
  • Do not wash salad items with tap water.  Use bottled water or freshly boiled and cooled tap water.

WHEN IS A BOIL WATER ORDER LIFTED?  According to the Illinois EPA guidelines, water samples must be collected to test for bacteria in the distribution system. Water Quality samples are taken on the day when the issue (main break, etc.) has been corrected and then incubated 18-24 hours, as required by the EPA.  Only after this period of time can test results be read.  From beginning to end, this process to lift a boil order can take a couple of days to complete.

WHAT SHOULD I DO ONCE THE BOIL ORDER IS LIFTED?  Once lifted, flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc. prior to using for drinking or cooking.  Follow these guidelines for flushing:

  • Faucets: Run all cold water faucets in your home for one minute at one time with the highest water flow possible to prevent splashing of flooding of the drains.
  • Automatic ice makers: Make three batches of ice and discard them.  
  • Water softeners:  Run for one minute at the highest flow rate possible.
  • Change refrigerator filters.