The city of Jackson remains under a boil-water notice after two winter storms disrupted daily life last week.
More than 10,000 across Mississippi are still without power and water, according to the latest estimate from PowerOutage.US. There is still no definitive timetable for when these utilities will return.
Here is what you need to know and what you need to do — as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — if you and your household remain under a boil-water notice:
JACKSON WATER CRISIS:Residents, businesses still with little to no water
What do I do if I’m under a boil-water notice?
The CDC and the Mississippi State Department of Health suggest bringing water to a full boil for 1 minute and allowing it to cool before using it. The health department recommends the following steps:
- Don’t drink tap water
- Don’t use iced made from recent tap water
- Don’t use tap water to make drinks, juices or fountain soft drinks.
- Only cook with tap water if food is boiled for at least one minute.
- Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water
You should boil tap water even if it is filtered, including water from a refrigerator or ice maker.
Can you shower/bathe with a boil water order?
It is safe to shower, but be careful not to swallow any water. Young children should be supervised to ensure they don’t drink water.
Can you wash dishes during a boil-water notice?
Dishwashers are typically safe to use if the final rinse temperature reaches at least 150 degrees or if the machine has sanitizing cycle. Otherwise, it is best to used disposable dishes and utensils.
While the CDC says dishwashers are generally safe to use, the Mississippi State Department of Health does not recommend it.
If you need to wash dishes by hand, wash and rinse as you normally would using hot water, but 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, and let dishes air dry before using.
Can you do laundry?
Yes, laundry can be done as usual during a boil-water advisory.
What about pets?
Pets could also get sick from drinking water during a boil-water advisory. Provide your animals with bottled water or boiled water.
What do I do when the boil-water notice is lifted?
According to the state health department, here are the steps to take:
- Flush faucets for a total of 10 minutes to introduce system water throughout the house plumbing
- Flush faucet a minimum of 2 minutes to ensure clearing of the line serving the faucet
- Discard any drinks, ice, food, etc, made during the boil water notice.
- Rewash any food or drink contact items (knives, forks, plates, etc.) with cleared system water.
- Check water filters and replace if necessary.
- Do not use water from your hot water heater for drinking until several exchanges of the tank have occurred.
- Run dishwasher through a cycle or two before washing dishes.
How do I get more information?
If you have any further questions, you can contact the Mississippi State Department of Health Bureau of Public Water Supply by calling (601) 576-7518.
Keisha Rowe and Elizabeth Backo contributed to this report.