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Boil Orders

Boil orders or advisories are public announcements advising the public that they should boil their tap water for drinking and other human consumption uses like cooking, hand washing, brushing teeth, etc. 

Boil orders are preventative measures issued to protect public health from waterborne infectious agents that could be or are known to be present in drinking water.  

Why is a Boil Order Issued?
Boil orders can be issued for any number of reasons.

The most common reason is that nearby work on a water main required that the water be temporarily shut down, which could allow for a contaminate to enter the pipe.  However, in an extraordinary event, a larger order may be issued if the water system loses pressure or a contaminant is discovered that requires a boil order.

When a Boil Order is in Effect...
Customers should boil any water that will be used for direct human consumption for 5 minutes prior to consumption.

These precautionary boil orders are issued when water system pressure falls below 20 PSI due to repairs and/or operational problems.

All affected customers are notified when a boil order is placed in effect.

Boil orders remain in effect until bacteriological testing confirms the safety of the drinking water.

A minimum of 24 hours is required to complete the laboratory testing.

When a Boil Order is Lifted...
Boil orders are lifted after bacteriological testing confirms the safety of the drinking water.

All effected customers are notified when a boil order has been lifted in the same manner as the original notification.

You will receive notification about the order being lifted as soon as possible regardless of whether or not it is during regular work hours.

Boil orders are issued as a precautionary measure with our customer's health and safety in mind.

When a Boil Order is Lifted, What Should I Do?
If you experience cloudy or discolored water, you should run your faucets for a few minutes until the water runs clear.

In the event of a mandatory boil water notice, you should flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc. prior to using for drinking or cooking.  Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure that no contaminated water remains in your pipes.

Follow these guidelines for flushing...

  • Run all cold water faucets in your home for one minute with the highest flow possible to prevent splashing or flooding of the drains.
  • To flush automatic ice makers, make three batches of ice and discard.
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle.  Follow the manufacturer's guidelines specified in the owner's manual.
  • Run drinking fountains for one minute at the highest flow rate possible.
  • Change refrigerator filters.

Due to 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.

Public Works Building
Public Works Department
1309 Mill Street
Rock Island, IL 61201
Ph: (309) 732-2200
Fx: (309) 732-2380

8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday - Friday