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Est. 1871

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If You Are Under a Water Boil Order


Understand that once placed under a water boil order, this stays in effect for the minimum of 48 hours.  The following local television channels and radio stations will be contacted to announce the boil order when it goes into affect and once it has been lifted:
 
KRCG - Channel 13
KOMU - Channel  8
KMIZ  - Channel 17
KWWR - COUNTRY 96
ZIMMER RADIO - SURROUNDING CITIES INCLUDED:  Jefferson City, Fulton, Columbia, Boonville, Fayette

                                                                                                                                                    

Boil Water Orders and Boil Water Advisories

Q. What is a boil water order?

 

A.  A boil water order is issued by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to public water
systems when a threat to the public health exists, or is likely to exist, that boiling the water will
remedy. The public water system is then required to notify consumers as soon as possible, and
by the most effective methods, that need to boil their drinking water.

                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q.  What is a boil water advisory?

 

A.  A public water system may issue a boil water advisory when there is concern a problem with
drinking water may exist, but it has not yet been confirmed. This may be done, for example,
while waiting for results of confirmation samples collected for bacteriological analysis, which can
take up to two days plus the time required to transport samples to the laboratory.

                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q.  What precautions should I take if under a boil water order or advisory?

 

A.  The following steps need to be taken:

1. Boil water vigorously for three minutes prior to use. Use only water that has been boiled for
drinking, diluting fruit juices, all other food preparation and brushing teeth.


2. Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic ice maker. Remake ice
cubes with water that has been boiled.


3. Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean
tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
Note: Let water cool sufficiently before drinking (approximately 110 degrees F).

                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q.  Do I need to boil bath water?

 

A.  Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is
necessary while bathing or using backyard pools so water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or
severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q.  What are the causes of boil water orders?

 

A.  The presence of fecal coliform or E. coli bacteria is a common cause for issuing a boil water
order. Other instances include low water pressure and inadequate levels of chlorine at systems
that require chlorination. High turbidity levels, cross connections, inadequate treatment
techniques and the presence of other microbial pathogens such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium
are potential causes for boil water orders that occur less frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q.  What are the symptoms of water-borne illness?

 

A.  Disease symptoms may include diarrhea, cramps, nausea and possible jaundice and
associated headaches and fatigue. These symptoms, however, are not just associated with
disease-causing organisms in drinking water; they also may be caused by a number of factors
other than your drinking water.2

                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q.  Are some groups of people more seriously affected?

 

A.  Persons with reduced immune function, infants under six months in age, and the elderly are
more seriously impacted by water-borne disease. Immune function may be reduced due to
chemotherapy for treatment, organ transplants or diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Persons in these
groups need to contact their personal physicians for additional information.

                                                                                                                                                                                         

Q.  Should I buy bottled water just to be on the safe side?

 

A.  Buying bottled water may be a feasible alternative to boiling drinking water when under a boil
water order. Bottled water operations are routinely inspected, and samples are analyzed by state
health agencies. This offers a safe source of water for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth.
                                                                                                                                                                                        

Q.  Where can I get more information?

 

A.  To learn more about your drinking water, contact the department at 800-361-4827 or the EPA’s
Safe Drinking Water hotline at 800-426-4791 if you are served by a public water system.
If you get your drinking water from a private well, contact the Missouri Department of Health
at 800-392-0272.

                                                                                                                                                                                        
For More Information
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Water Protection Program - Public Drinking Water Branch
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176
800-361-4827 or 573-751-5331 office
573-526-1146 fax
www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp

IF You are Under a PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM 

“CONSERVE WATER” ORDER

 

Please do not use any extra water during this time. . 

 

Stay away from:

 

  • filling swimming pools
  • watering lawns and flowers
  • long showers
  • do not leave water running while brushing your teeth
  • washing vehicles

This is NOT the same as a boil order.  It is only a Conserve Water Order

 

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                              

Why Is Conserving Water Important?

Reducing our use of water will decrease water pollution, increase energy savings, and create more efficient use of our water resources. Too much water in an on-site sewage treatment system can flush untreated material through before organisms have a chance to break it down. If untreated material gets to the drainfield, the material can plug up the soil within the drainfield and shorten the life of the septic system. Sending too much water down the drain can also cause systems to "blow out," allowing untreated material to flow out onto the ground. If this occurs, the system needs to be dug up and repaired. Failing septic systems can:

  • contaminate drinking wells

  • cause health risks such as hepatitis or dysentery

  • cause chemical pollution from household cleaning products

  • contribute excess nutrients to ground water, lakes, or streams

Conserving water in rural areas will increase the life of existing septic systems. Conserving water within a municipal water system will reduce household expenses, increase treatment plant efficiency, and reduce the amount of electricity and chemicals needed to treat wastewater. In both situations, conserving water protects water quality through improved wastewater treatment.

 

How Much Water Do We Use?

A typical household of four uses 260 gallons of water each day. Much of this water is used in the bathroom. Toilets use 40% of the total, showers/baths and faucets use 35%. By contrast, 15% is used in the kitchen, and 10% for washing clothes.

 


 

Table 1: Typical water use (in gallons). Calculate how much your family typically uses in one week.
ACTIONTYPICAL USECONSERVATIVE USEULTRA-CONS. USE? YOUR USE ?
Toilet-flushing6 (old standard)1.5-3 (low-flow)Composting toilet 
Tub bath30 (1/2 filled)15 (1/4 filled)Sponge bath 
Shower10 min: 50 (5 gal/min)
3 min: 15 (5 gal/min)
25 (2.5 gal/min)
7.5 (2.5 gal/min)
Camper style
(3 gal)
 
Laundry - full loadTop loading: 50-60 (older models)
Front loading: 33 (older models)
(Suds-saver reuses most of the "wash fill" for the 2nd load)
40 (newer models) 17-28 (newer models)Laundromat 
DishwashingMachine: 12-15 (old-reg cycle)
(Pre-rinsing before loading adds 3-5 gal)

Hand: 16 (faucet rinse)
6-9 (new-reg cycle)
 
6 (basin rinse)
  
Teeth-brushing2 (faucet running)1/8 (wet brush, brief rinse)  
Hand-washing2 (faucet running)1 (basin; brief rinse)  
Shaving3-5 (faucet running)1 (basin; brief rinse)  

 

Use less water by using common sense, making lifestyle choices, and installing new low-flow products!

Bathroom

the toilet

To significantly reduce water use, replace your old 5 gallon per flush toilet with a new 1.5 or 1.6 gallon per flush toilet. This is the most effective way to decrease the amount of water used in the bathroom.

As an alternative to installing a new toilet, retrofit your old one with a water-saving device. Displacing volume in the tank means that less water is used for each flush. A clean, sealed plastic container filled with sand will work.

  • Don't use a brick-pieces of decaying brick can get under the rubber flapper and cause leaks.

  • Leaky toilets can waste a lot of water. Replace the rubber flapper in the tank every two to three years. If black coloring comes off on your hand when you touch the flapper, it's time to replace it!

  • Be careful that your displacement device still allows a complete flush. With old tanks, less volume may mean less than a total flush.

  • Flushing twice doesn't save water!

Bathroom

the tub/shower

To save water while showering, install a low-flow showerhead. New designs range from 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minute and still provide a powerful stream of water. Some models allow you to temporarily turn off the water without changing the water temperature.

To install a new showerhead, simply unscrew the old one and screw on the new one using Teflon tape to seal the threads. Be careful not to unscrew plumbing fixtures inside the wall!

Other lifestyle choices will help save water while bathing:

  • Take short showers instead of baths.

  • Take shorter showers or shower less often.

  • Don't run the water full force when showering.

  • Turn the shower off while soaping or shaving.

  • Keep the water shallow when using the tub.

Baths can sometimes actually save water compared with long showers. A showerhead that delivers 5 gallons per minute means that a shower longer than 8 minutes uses more water than a typical full bathtub (40 gallons).

Kitchen

 

Saving water in the kitchen is easy with a low-flow faucet aerator and a few new habits. When selecting a low-flow faucet, keep in mind that flows less than 2.5 gallons per minute are inconvenient at a kitchen sink when you are trying to fill pots or wash dishes. A dual flow faucet is the best choice for kitchens.

Other BMPs can save water in the kitchen:

  • Repair leaky faucets.

  • Wash only FULL loads in the dishwasher and select a low-water-use model.

  • Hand-wash dishes in a basin instead of under running water.

  • Store a container of water in the refrigerator to avoid running water each time you want a cold drink.

Utility Room-laundry

 

Front-loading washing machines use 40% less water than top loaders. However, front loaders are not common; they may be more expensive than top loaders and may be difficult to find.

Another option is to purchase a top loader with a suds-saver. Suds-savers reuse most of the sudsy wash water for a second load. By beginning with the cleanest clothes and reusing wash water for at least one load, suds-savers can cut water use by 30-50%.

Even when using a standard top-loading machine, there are habits that will save water:

  • Wash only FULL loads.

  • When smaller loads are necessary, use partial load settings.




water treatment devices

 

If your water softener backflush line is connected to the septic system, recharge your softener as infrequently as possible to reduce water use and avoid overloading the septic system. If you want automatic recharge on your conditioner, select a model that recharges after a certain amount of water passes through rather than one that recharges at regular time intervals. That way if you're away or your water usage drops, the frequency of recharge will also drop.

If you have a point-of-use water treatment device, be sure it has a shut-off valve so the system doesn't run continuously when the reservoir is already full. Reverse osmosis systems sometimes reject 8 gallons for every 1 gallon filtered. This rejected water can put too much water into your septic system and chemically destroy the bacterial action.


Saving Water Saves Energy and Money

By conserving water, you will save money. Using a low-flow showerhead will annually save you an estimated $10 per person in waterheating savings alone. Savings can be realized from water and wastewater service fees, electric city bills, and longevity of your pumps and switches. The largest savings in the rural setting is your septic system performance and longevity.