Residents are advised to "flush" their water following the lifting of a boil order in 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, etc. Please use the following guidance:
Cold Water Faucets: Run tap water until the water feels cold, one minute or more, before drinking tooth-brushing, or using for food preparation. If you have a single-lever faucet, set it to run the cold water first.
Hot Water Faucets: To clear hot-water pipes and water heater of untreated water, change all faucets to hot water and flush for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon hot-water tank, 30 minutes for an 80-gallon hot water tank or larger. Hot water is then safe to use for washing hands, and for hand-washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc. Never use water from the "hot" faucet for drinking, cooking, or other internal-consumption purposes.
Dishwashers: After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher empty one time.
Humidifiers: Discard any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral, medical or health care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.
Food and baby formula: Discard baby formula and other foods prepared with water on the day or days of the boil order. (If unsure of the dates contact your water department.)
Refrigerator water-dispensing machine: Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed by at least one quart of water. If unsure of your dispenser's capacity, refer to manufacturer specifications.
Ice cubes: Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil order and run through a 24-hour cycle, discarding the ice to assure purging of the icemaker water supply line. For medical, dental, and food-service establishments, please refer to the guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health .
Due to the flushing of the 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 an immediate health risk. Contact your local water department if you have any questions.
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