Boil Orders

Boil Order: A boil order is issued at the time of confirmed E.coli contamination in the distribution system.

The boil notices are issued by the local water companies based on their data and the request of Division of Drinking Water and the Local Health Department.

Boil Order: A boil order may be lifted after two satisfactory total coliform sampling events have been completed 24 hours apart to confirm that coliform is not present. For disinfecting systems this includes after chlorine residual levels have returned to baseline levels. In situations where the system does not regularly add chlorine then the notice is lifted based off of two rounds of samples and chlorine residuals are back to zero (normal operating level), and DDW/LHD requires a follow-up coliform sample after normal operating conditions.

What to do if you receive a Boil Water Order Notification


Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, beverage and food preparation, and making ice until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.  Boiling is the preferred method to assure that the tap water is safe to drink.  Bring all tap water to a rolling boil, let it boil for three (3) minutes, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water.

What can I do with my tap water?
  • Drinking – NO
  • Ice Cubes – NO, and existing ice cubes should be thrown out. See below for information on ice machines.
  • Brushing Teeth – NO
  • Baby’s Formula – NO
  • Washing Fruit/Vegetables – NO
  • Preparing Food – NO
  • Coffee, Tea, Lemonade, etc. – NO. See below for information on soda dispensers and coffee makers.
  • Laundry – Yes
  • Watering Grass or Garden – Yes, but fruits/vegetables must be washed using boiled or bottled water before consumption.
  • Washing Hands – See below.
  • Showers or Baths – See below.
  • Washing Dishes – See below.
During a boil order, can I wash my hands using tap water?

It is recommended that you wash your hands using soap and either bottled water or boiled water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may also be used.

During a boil order, can my family take showers or baths using tap water?

The risk of bathing in tap water is uncertain and so should be avoided particularly by people with open wounds or who are immuno-compromised. For those people who choose to shower or bathe in the tap water, minimize the time spent in the water and be sure to keep your eyes and mouth closed. Babies and young children should not bathe or shower in tap water because they often swallow some water accidentally.

During a boil order, can I wash dishes using tap water?

You may use a dishwasher if it has a sanitizing cycle. If it does not have a sanitizing cycle, or you are not sure if it does, you may hand wash dishes and utensils by following these steps:

  1. Wash the dishes as you normally would.
  2. As a final step, immerse the dishes for at least one minute in lukewarm water to which a teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water has been added.
  3. Allow the dishes to completely air dry.
Common Questions and Answers
  1. Is it safe to use my washer/dryer? Yes.
  2. Can I give the tap water to my pets? Humans and pets are considered to be equal during a boil notice. Always contact your veterinarian with specific concerns.
  3. Can I brush my teeth with the water? No.
  4. Can I shower with the water? Yes, but with the awareness to avoid ingestion. Those people with compromised immune systems, open wounds and lesions should avoid showering with the water.
  5. Can I wash my hands with the water? No.
  6. Can I prepare food with the water? No.
  7. Is it safe to use my dishwasher? No. All dishes should be rinsed with a sanitizing (chlorine) solution and then air dried. If your washer has a sanitizing cycle then verify with the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow instructions for using other disinfectants.
  8. For how long do I boil the water? We recommend a rolling boil for 3 minutes.
  9. Is it safe to boil the water and then store it? How should I store it? Yes, refrigerate it after boiling. Storing at room temperature would depend on the condition of the storage vessel. Most containers would not be sterile and other bacteria could grow if it was stored for a long period of time.
  10. How do I know if I live in the area affected by the notice? You will receive a call from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Code Red system or will have a notice posted on your property.

What to do AFTER a Boil Water Order has been lifted.

You will be notified when the water is safe to use.

Residents are advised to “flush” their water following the lifting of the boil order to clear plumbing of potentially contaminated water. Flushing your household and building water lines includes interior and exterior faucets, showers, water and ice dispensers, water treatment units, and so on.

Please visit the provided video link for guidance or follow the suggested flushing steps provided below. Video Link:

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Flush faucets: 5 minutes with cold water. For a residence with multiple levels, start at the top of the house.
  • Flush showers: 5 minutes of a mix of hot and cold water.
  • Toilets: none required.
  • Washing Machines: none required.
  • Dish Washers: if your machine has a sanitize cycle please run 1cycle.
  • Outdoor Spigots; 5 minutes, disconnect hose first.
  • Refrigerator Water Dispenser: flush for 5 minutes or at least 1 quart of water.
  • Faucet/Fridge Water Filters: consider replacing filter per manufacturer recommendation.
  • In-Line Water Filter: consider replacing filter per manufacturer recommendation.
  • Ice Makers: dump all existing ice and discard new ice made over an additional 24 hour period to assure complete purging of the water supply line. Wash and sanitize ice bin.
  • Food and Baby Formula: be sure you have discarded any baby formula or other foods prepared with water on the days of the boil order. (If unsure of the dates contact your water department.)
  • Water Heaters: run hot water from all faucets until water runs cold. Second option is to drain the water heater using spigot/release on the bottom of heater.
  • Water Softeners: cycle water softener per manufacturer recommendation.
  • Reverse Osmosis Systems: cycle through and consider replacing filters per manufacturer recommendation.
  • Soft Drink Dispensers: disconnect flavoring and cycle water through until replaced with fresh water, reconnect flavoring.

Due to the flushing of the water lines by residents and the flushing of the hydrants, some customers may experience a lack of water pressure and/or discolored water. However, this is an expected result and does not pose a health risk. Contact your local Water Department if you have any questions.

Contact Us
Environmental Health Division, Summit County Health Department

650 Round Valley Drive, Park City, Utah 84060
Phone: 435-333-1511, Fax: 435-333-1580