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Boiling recommendation

When there is a suspicion that tap water contains bacteria, viruses or parasites that could make you ill, your local authority recommends that the water should be boiled before being drunk or used to prepare food.

This is what to do when your local authority recommends that drinking water should be boiled:

  • Boil all water that is to be drunk or used to prepare food.
  • Boil the water in a saucepan or kettle until it is bubbling strongly. Bacteria, viruses and parasites die when the water is boiled.
  • Pour the boiled drinking water into a thoroughly cleaned jug, bottle or other container and let it cool. Let it stand at room temperature or cooler – preferably in a refrigerator.

Remember that boiled drinking water must be used to

  • mix squash or other drinks with water
  • make coffee, because a coffee maker does not heat the water to boiling point
  • make ice
  • rinse fruit, salad and vegetables that will not be cooked
  • brush your teeth.

Unboiled drinking water can be used to

  • prepare food such as potatoes, rice and pasta that will be boiled in water
  • wash your hands and face
  • shower, but make sure small children do not swallow the water. Avoid taking a bath
  • wash up in the dishwasher at the highest temperature; use the drying programme
  • wash up by hand; let the washing up dry off before being used
  • wash clothes
  • wash and clean surfaces
  • water flowers
  • flush the toilet.

NOTE: When there is a recommendation to boil drinking water, children must not play in water sprinklers, paddling pools etc.

Access to clean drinking water – find out what applies in your municipality

You will often be able to obtain clean drinking water from special tanks provided by your local authority. You can find information on this on your local authority’s website. Another option is to buy drinking water in bottles.