Hurricane

After Irma, is your water safe to drink? You might have to boil it.

To make water safe to drink, it has to be heated to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute.
To make water safe to drink, it has to be heated to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute. Miami Herald file photo

Forty-eight communities in Florida are under mandatory boil water notices because of ruptured pipes or damaged sewer lines caused by the pummeling of Hurricane Irma. The Florida Department of Health is maintaining a rolling list at www.floridahealth.gov.

All of the Florida Keys face unsafe drinking water and several entire cities face boil water notices.

Health officials advise against using the water from the tap for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes unless it is heated to a rolling boil of at least one minute.

If people are unable to boil water, they can disinfect their tap water by adding 8 drops of unscented household bleach (4-6 percent active ingredients) to each gallon of water. The water should be mixed and allowed to stand at least 30 minutes before use. If the water is cloudy, health officials advise using 16 drops of bleach and a 30-minute waiting time.

In many communities, the boil water notice will remain in effect until a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink. Contact your community or the Florida Department of Health web site for more information.

You may use the water for bathing, laundry and irrigation. All fixtures should be run for several minutes to clear the lines in your home.

The boil water warnings apply in Broward to residents of Davie (except for those who get water service from Ferncrest or the cities of Sunrise or Fort Lauderdale), Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Pembroke Pines.

Other Broward communities face partial boil water notices. That includes parts of Dania Beach and Pembroke Park. The map can be viewed here. https://t.co/A841i0jHvl

The entire cities of West Palm Beach, Venice, Pahokee and Canal Point are under boil water notices. Two RV parks in Sumter County are also under the restrictions, as is the town of Pierson in Volusia County.

In Miami-Dade County, North Miami issued a boil water order on Wednesday.

For a full is of communities affected, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/drinking-water/boil-water-notices.html

This story was updated Wednesday, Sept. 13, to clarify the Davie boil water order and add North Miami’s.

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