Update Nov. 10: Boil Water Advisory Ends in Arlington
Arlington County has issued a boil water notice for parts of the County (see searchable map) as a precaution following a water transmission main break. During this advisory, bottled water is the best option, but if you do not have bottled water available, boil your tap water before using it.
Boil Tap Water
- Heat the water in a pot until bubbles come quickly from the bottom.
- Boil water for 3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat source and let the water cool completely.
- Pour the water into a clean container with a cover for storage.
Note: You should boil tap water even if it is filtered. Most kitchen and other household water filters do not remove bacteria or viruses.
Take Care in Your Home
- Use boiled water (follow the steps above) that has cooled or bottled water for preparing and cooking foods. This includes:
- Washing fruits and vegetables
- Preparing coffee, tea, and lemonade
- Washing food prep areas
- Do not use ice from ice trays, ice dispensers, or ice makers
- Throw out all ice made with tap water.
- Laundry is safe to do as usual
- Dishwashing — Use disposable plates, cups, and utensils, if possible. If you do not have disposable dishes, follow the instructions below
- Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.
- To wash dishes by hand:
- Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
- In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
- Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
- Let the dishes air dry completely before using again.
Take Care of You and Your Family
- Wash your hands with soap and water (warm or cold) for 20 seconds and rinse them well under running water. Dry hands completely.
- Do not swallow any water when bathing or showering.
- Give babies and young children a bath using bottled water or boiled water that has cooled completely (follow the steps above).
- Brush teeth with bottled or boiled water that has cooled completely (follow the steps above).
- If you use baby formula, prepare bottles with bottled water or boiled water that has cooled completely (follow the steps above) OR use ready-made formula.
- Wash and sterilize bottles and nipples with prepared tap water before use.
- Give your pets bottled water or boiled water that has been cooled for drinking.
What if I drank the water before I heard that I shouldn’t?
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants if harmful microorganisms did enter the system. We are still conducting tests to see if this occurred. People with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be at greater risk from infections. In the event you experience gastro-intestinal illness symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, fever and sometimes headaches, rash and paralysis, see your family physician or healthcare provider.
Visiting Food Establishments
- To find out if the restaurant/food establishment is impacted – you can enter its address on this mapping tool.
- Ask the impacted restaurant/food establishment if they are following the Boil Water Notice: Procedures for Food Establishments