The boil water advisory explained: Here’s what you can and can’t do at home

Has your area received a boil water advisory?

Here’s everything you need to know:

In line with HSE advice on hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and that it is not necessary to boil the water.

What water should be boiled for:

  • While drinking
  • Water-based drinks
  • Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked before consumption
  • Tooth brushing
  • Ice making – throw ice cubes in refrigerators and freezers and filtered water in refrigerators. Make ice from cooled boiled water.

What measures should be taken:

  • Use water prepared for drinking when preparing food that will not be cooked (eg washing salads).
  • Water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing and toilet flushing, but not for brushing teeth or gargling.
  • Bring the water to a full boil (for example with an automatic kettle) and leave to cool. Cover and store in the refrigerator or in a cold place. Hot tap water is not drinkable. Household water filters will not make water safe to drink.
  • Care should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bath water.

Boil water advisory and children at home:

  • Prepare baby food with water that has been boiled once and cooled. Do not use boiled water multiple times.
  • If bottled water is used for infant food preparation, it should be boiled once and cooled.
  • If you use bottled water to prepare baby food, be aware that some natural mineral waters may be high in sodium. The legal limit for sodium in drinking water is 200 mg per litre. Check the label on bottled water to make sure the sodium or “Na” is not more than 200 mg per litre. If this is the case, it is advisable to use another type of bottled water. If no other water is available, use that water for as short a time as possible.
  • It is important to keep babies hydrated.
  • Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily occur, especially with children.

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