Boil Water Notices

Customers who get their water supply through the City of Madison may sometimes face a boil water notice. Typically, water service can be interrupted for any number of reasons, most commonly while repairs are made to a water main following a break, or in the course of scheduled maintenance and repair work.

Why is the issuance of a boil water notice required? If the normal pressure in the line is lost due to a break or change, the possibility exists for contaminants to enter that line. The odds of this happening are extremely remote, but to be extra cautious, precautionary boil water notices are placed in effect while routine bacteriological sampling is conducted. Usually, two separate sets of samples are taken (again to be extra cautious), each needing 24 hours to be considered complete. When both sets of samples come back "clean,” then the precautionary boil water notice is lifted. These advisories only affect water that is intended for drinking or cooking. The city makes every effort to communicate boil water notices to our customers. Call (601) 856-8958 with any questions or concerns.

What Should You Do?

When a precautionary boil water notice is issued, you’ll want to have a safe and adequate drinking water supply in your home until service can be restored. To do this you’ll need to purify the water by using one of several methods:

  • Boiling: Boil vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes and let cool.
  • Hypochlorite Bleach: Use regular liquid bleach from the home laundry or grocery store that has 5.25 percent bleach. DO NOT use a bleach that has a fragrance or scent.
    Add 6 drops to a gallon of water and let stand at least 30 minutes.
    If the water has a strong chlorine smell after 30 minutes, pour back and forth between two clean jugs or containers until the smell has dissipated.
  • Purification tablets: These can be purchased from a drug store.  Use according to directions on the package.

Store purified water in a clean, non-corrosive, tightly covered container. Prepare three gallons of water per day for each family member and any family pets. To increase shelf life of water, group bottles in dark plastic trash bags to keep light out.   Store containers in a cool, dark location.