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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Boil Water Advisory

A boil water advisory is issued any time the drinking water could have been contaminated by bacteria.  In New Orleans the most common cause of a boil water advisory is low water pressure caused by a power outage or water main break. 

The advisory allows New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board time to collect water samples and test those samples for bacteria.  It takes 24 hours to complete these tests.  If the test is negative for bacteria, the advisory will be lifted. 

What to do during a boil water advisory?

Use bottled or boiled water for:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Making ice
  • Preparing and cooking food
  • Washing cooking utensils and tableware
  • Mixing with formula for baby bottles

To boil water, allow water to boil for 1 minute after bringing it to a rolling boil.  Store water in a clean container.  Shake or add a pinch of salt to remove the flat taste.

Can I shower?

Yes, people can shower but make sure not to get the water in your nose or mouth.  People with open wounds or infants should use boiled or bottled water for bathing.

Can I wash my hands?

Yes, use soap and tap water, dry hands then apply hand sanitizer; the safest option is to wash with safe water.

What should I do when the advisory is lifted?

  • Flush pipes and faucets by running cold water for 5 minutes
  • Make and discard 3 batches of ice in your home ice maker to flush out the system
  • Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 113oF
  • Run water softener through a regeneration cycle

More information for the general public is found here

More information for healthcare facilities, restaurants, and daycare facilities is found here


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Last updated: 1/20/2016 12:15:34 AM

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