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The City's Water Department will put a boil advisory in effect for two reasons.
The first and most typical reason is if a water main break occurs and there is potential contamination in the area of the break. In this case, the advisory is a precaution and will be in effect for three days in predetermined areas. Once a water main break has been repaired the City is required to take water samples from the area of the break and have them tested for contaminants. These tests take 48 hours. Once the results prove negative for any contaminant, the City will lift the advisory. If a contaminant is detected the City will extend the advisory. New samples will be tested until the contaminant has been removed from the system.
The second, and most rare, reason an advisory would be issued is if a contaminant is detected during the routine testing the City performs on the entire water system. If this is the case, the City will issue a boil advisory for the entire system until the source of the contaminant is determined and until it is proven that the contaminant has been removed from the system.
If a boil advisory is issued, residents should assume the water is unsafe to drink because of the potential contamination. It is important to follow the advisory directions because of the potential contamination.
Under a boil advisory, it is advisable to bring the water you will use for drinking, cooking, and all personal hygiene usage to a rolling boil for three minutes.
Yes, residents may choose to use bottled water while the boil advisory is in effect. In some cases boiling water is not advised. Boiling the water will not remove sodium, nitrates, and other inorganic chemicals from water. It may increase the concentration of these contaminants.
A "no use" advisory would be issued notifying residents that they should not use the water for drinking, cooking, and all personal hygiene usage even after boiling. This type of notice remains in effect until the City's Water Department notifies residents that the water is acceptable for consumption and other uses.
There may come a time when we find it necessary to issue a boil advisory for portions of our City. If the area is reasonably small, notification is given to customers by house to house door tags. If the area affected is large and it is not possible to deliver door tags, the City of Monroe will advise all news media, including local radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers, including the list below: