There are many possible scenarios that will result in potentially hazardous drinking water. Any time there is a boil water notice, potentially after large storms, or while camping in the wilderness, there are simple steps you can take to make sure your water is safe to drink whether it comes from a public or private source.
Source Water From Around the House
You can gather water from around the house by melting ice cubes or draining the water from your hot water heater or toilet tank, not the bowl. Toilet tank water is safe to drink as long as there are no cleaning detergents or chemicals added to the tank. If you do choose to shut off the heat source to your hot water heater, allow the water to cool, and drain it, be sure not to turn the heater back on until after water service has been restored.
The best way to ensure your water is safe to drink is to boil the water prior to drinking. The water gets heated to a temperature where biological matter cannot live. To do this safely, you must bring the water to a vigorous boil and keep it there for two minutes. You will know you are at the correct water temperature when stirring the water will not disrupt the boil. Allow the water to cool and then use as needed, keeping it separate from any water that has not been boiled.
If you can't boil the water, you can disinfect it with bleach or chemical tablets made for purifying water. Simply add 1/8 teaspoon per gallon of water and let sit for thirty minutes. If the water looks clear and smells of chlorine, it is safe to use. If it does not look clear or smell like chlorine, repeat the process one more time. If it does not look clear or smell like chlorine at this time, discard it and do not use.
If disaster strikes or an accident causes your water to become contaminated, know that these tips can help to keep you and your family safe until your water service can be restored. When in doubt, always contact your water service provider for details concerning a water boil notice or any time you are concerned with the safety of your drinking water. Boil the water for two minutes at a rapid, vigorous boil, treat with water purification chemicals or find alternative sources of water within the house. Having a plumbing service such as Plumb Perfect Ltd. conduct tests to ensure that your household water has not had any issues is another level of protection you may want to enlist. Some plumbers in Mississauga and in many other locales offer these kinds of water quality tests privately that you could utilize if you aren't positive your water is restored to its normal quality. Always take proper and recommended precautions before trusting a water source.