HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Simple acts of cooking, drinking, bathing, washing dishes, brushing your teeth and even making ice can become cautionary tasks when you are under a boil water notice.
"Any water that you use for consumption, you need to bring that water to a rolling boil for one minute," Director of the Office of Environmental Health, Leslie Royals said.
Royals said this will kill any bacteria in the water that can make you sick.
"Bottled water is a good alternative," Royals said. Especially if you adhere to the specifics on The Bureau of Public Water Supply's Checklist for Safe Water Use.
Here are a few of the checklist items:
*Do not drink from water fountains in parks, public or private buildings that receive water from the system
*Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks
*Do not use tap water to make tea or coffee unless the brewing process brings the water to a boil for at least one minute
What you should do:
*Wash your dishes in boil water, or use paper plates
*Wash your fruits and vegetables with boiled or bottled water
*Wash your hands and bathe as usual, as long as no water is swallowed
* Use anti-bacterial soap
As the consumer, Royals said staying informed about the safety of your water can be right at your finger tips.
"Go to the health department's website and see if you are under a boil water notice, or to see if a boil water notice has been lifted. You can call your local water association," Royals said.
Royals added that you can find out a year's worth of testing and results from your water system as well.
"If consumers would like to know what is in their water, what kind of contaminates have been tested for in the water, they can go to Healthyms.com and look up under the water supply section, look up the consumer confidence report," Royals said.
In this section of the site, you can find out how your water system plans to inform its customers of the consumer confidence report other than posting on the web, according to Royals.
Royals said if the internet isn't a preferred avenue to instruction, residents can call 601-576-7400 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1-866-458-4948 to talk to a person about boil water notices.
If you notice your water association does not make you aware of boil water notices or lifts, Royals recommends that you call your water system first. If you are not satisfied, then you should call the department of health to discuss the issue.
You can always go to Healthyms.com to keep track of your water.
Properly chlorinated water in swimming pools is safe.
Fish in aquariums are not affected.
To see the clean water checklist, click here.