Guidance for Individuals and Restaurants During Water Loss

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

City of Vicksburg water customers are currently under a boil-water alert.

Lack of water or low water pressure is expected to continue for several days. Individuals and families will want to take steps to ensure sufficient water for personal use. Restaurants should follow the guidelines below for operating during this period.

When can you resume drinking tap water?

Once normal water pressure is restored, affected areas will be under a boil-water notice while MSDH tests the water supply to ensure that contaminants have not entered the water system while pressure was lost. The boil-water notice will not be lifted until two consecutive days (usually 48 to 72 hours) of samples are found to be free of contamination.

Notification of boil-water alerts and when they are lifted will come from the City of Vicksburg. This information will be listed on the MSDH website. View current boil-water alerts »

Restaurant safety while repairs take place

Food facilities have been required to make plans for safe food, beverages and sanitation if they wish to operate without water. If you have concerns about a food facility's operation in this period, please call 601-576-7689.


How much water should I store?

  • For personal use: One gallon per person, per day for drinking, food preparation and hygiene should be stored. A family of four would need 12 gallons of water to for a three-day water outage. You may require more water if you are a nursing mother, ill, or active. Store enough drinking and cooking water for several days of water outage, and a boil-water period of at least two days to follow.
  • Pets: Don't forget that pets require water, too. A large dog can need almost as much water as a person each day.
  • For toilets: Toilets require one to two gallons per flush. Fill a bathtub, or a large container that you can keep nearby, to refill the toilet tank.

What is the best way to store water?

  • If possible, purchase bottled water and keep it sealed until ready to use.
  • Plastic containers such as soft drink bottles, are best. You can also purchase food-grade plastic buckets or drums.
  • You can also store water in thoroughly washed plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers. Don't re-use a container that has held bleach, cleaning fluids, or other substances that may be toxic.
  • Tip: Improve the taste of stored water by pouring it back and forth between two containers to mix it with air.

Limiting water use

  • Reduce your need for drinking water by reducing activity, staying cool, and avoiding foods that are salty. Meats and fats also increase your need for water.
  • Use waterless hand sanitizer for personal hygiene if drinking water is in short supply.

General information

Operating Permits

To operate a food facility without water, a special temporary permit is needed. For information, call 601-576-7689.

To submit a written plan for operating without running water, you can:


  • Limit your menu offerings to items that don't require tap water to prepare or clean (for example, salads).
  • Offer canned or bottled drinks only.
  • Use ice prepared from sources outside the Vicksburg water system.
  • Limit dish washing by using disposable utensils, plates, and cups


  • Provide portable toilets for use by food preparation staff, or an alternate means of flushing existing toilets.
  • Portable/temporary handwashing stations for use by food preparation staff.

General information

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Last reviewed on May 17, 2017
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U web@HealthyMS.com
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