Nova Scotia

How to make it through boil water advisory

People in the Sydney area are stuck boiling their water until at least mid-day on Thursday. Here are some tips that can help you through.
Residents are instructed to bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for domestic purposes, including drinking water, making infant formula and juice, brushing teeth, washing raw foods and making ice.

People in the Sydney area are stuck boiling their water until at least mid-day on Thursday.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality issued a boil water advisory for the Sydney water system after it found bacteria in one of the water samples taken Monday.

A second sample was clear.

Water operations manager Greg Penney said the municipality needs two clear samples before the advisory can be revoked.

"We had to react because the potential was there was bacteria in the system. That's why we did what we did, but the indications are that it's one of 21 samples so it was on the lower risk scale in my opinion, but rules are rules and rules are quite explicit on how you deal with these procedures," he said.

Residents are instructed to bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least one minute before using it for domestic purposes, including drinking water, making infant formula and juice, brushing teeth, washing raw foods and making ice.

There are about 27,000 people using the Sydney water system.

Here are some tips that can help you through:

  • During a boil water advisory, use bottled water or disinfected water for drinking; making drinks, infant formula and ice cubes; tooth brushing; cooking and steaming food; and cleaning vegetables. Keep bottles of clean water next to the sink for these purposes.
  • To disinfect water, bring it to a rolling boil for one minute to destroy disease-causing organisms. Water treatment devices, such as those built into taps or jugs, are not effective in removing many organisms.
  • Boiled water can taste flat. Shaking air into water or adding a little salt can help the flavour.
  • Water for washing dishes should be hot, but doesn't need to be boiled. A small amount of bleach can be added to rinse water for disinfecting.
  • If you eat vegetables from your garden, make sure they are well-cooked before eating them.
  • Adults and teenagers can take showers, if they don't swallow any water. Sponge baths are safer than showers for younger children.
  • Tape plastic bags over taps and showerheads so you don't turn them on out of habit.

now