MSDH Issues Guidelines for Areas Affected by Boil Water Alerts

January 11, 2010
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Jackson, MS — The Mississippi State Department of Health has been advised by the City of Jackson that some areas of the city may experience unexpected interruptions in water services. These interruptions may affect both businesses and residences. City authorities are currently issuing boil water alerts to affected customers.

Residential customers under boil water alerts should follow these guidelines:

  • Do not drink tap water.
  • Do not use ice made from recent tap water.
  • Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks.
  • Cook with tap water only if food is boiled for at least one minute.
  • Wash dishes, fruits and vegetables in boiled water or water that has been disinfected with bleach.
  • Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.
  • Wash your hands and bathe as usual. Bathing is safe as long as no water is swallowed.

Take the following steps to treat water:

  • Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill most organisms.
  • If you cannot boil your water, mix eight drops (1/8 teaspoon) of unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Mix the solution thoroughly, and let stand for about 30 minutes before using.

Food facilities located in areas affected by a boil water alert are required to do the following:

  • Facility staff should not use the public water system after receiving notice of a boil water alert. If any food or drink products were made after this time, they should be discarded. Any surface or utensil cleaning performed after this time should be re-cleaned and sanitized with cleanser and bottled water or water from a source not currently affected by a boil water alert, henceforth referred to as an "approved source."
  • Water for drinking must be bottled water or water from an approved source. Drink dispensers, iced tea and coffee machines connected to the public water supply may not be used. Ice made with water from the public water system cannot be used.
  • In order to minimize the washing of dishes and silverware, staff should use disposable supplies and utensils for food preparation and service. Bottled water or water from an approved alternate source must be used to clean wares or food contact surfaces.
  • Gloves must be worn for all food preparation and service. Soap and water from an approved source must be used to wash hands. Staff may wish to construct a temporary hand washing station. This can be done by acquiring a large container with a spigot and filling it with water from an approved source. A bucket can be placed beneath the spigot for water retention. Following washing, hands must be further sanitized through the use of sanitary wipes. Individual paper towels must be used for drying.
  • Following the restoration of normal water services, flush out all water lines, including drink dispensers, water reservoirs, tea machines and coffee machines prior to use. Ice machines should be emptied and cleaned. Following this, a run of ice should be produced and discarded. Once these steps have been taken, ice from the machine may be served.

For more information, contact the Mississippi State Department of Health at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948) or visit www.HealthyMS.com.


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Last reviewed on Jan 11, 2010
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U Contact and information

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