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How to use water safely during a Boil Water Advisory and Drinking Water Advisory

Water Advisories

  • Current Water Advisories
  • Boil Water Advisory Information
  • Drinking Water Advisory - Do Not Drink the Water Information
  • Drinking Water Advisory - Do Not Use the Water Information

Current Water Advisories

Location Type Area Involved Date Issued Date Rescinded
Smooth Rock Falls Boil Water Advisory Dupont Street
Bordeleau Street
138 – 220 Highway 11
2022-08-09 2022-08-12
Moose Factory Boil Water Advisory Moose Factory 2022-08-06 2022-08-11
Notre Dame Trailer Park Boil Water Advisory Timmins 2022-08-06  
Timberwolf Lodge Restaurant Boil Water Advisory Hornepayne 2022-07-22  
Remi Lake Campground Boil Water Advisory 80 Remi Lake Road, Moonbeam 2022-07-07  
Villa Genier Boil Water Advisory 2301 Genier Road, Cochrane 2022-02-17  
Shillington Apartments  Boil Water Advisory 1037 Highway 577, Shillington 2021-09-17  
Fushimi Provincial Park Boil Water Advisory Hearst 2021-08-27  

Boil Water Advisory

Boil Water Advisory

A boil water advisory is issued when authorities suspect or have confirmed the presence of harmful microorganisms (germs or pathogens, such as E.coli bacteria, giardia parasite, etc.) in a drinking water supply. Drinking water contaminated with these pathogens can make people and animals very sick. Boiling the water will kill the germs and make it safe to drink.

How to Boil Water

  • Bring water to a rolling boil and boil for a minimum of one (1) minute before use.
  • Allow water to cool before using or drinking.
  • Please keep in mind that many kettles do not boil water for one (1) full minute.

An alternative source of safe drinking water* (see more information below) may also be used.

Tap Water Can Be Used For:

  • Washing clothes;
  • Taking showers (adults and older children);
    • See below for information on bathing babies and young children.
  • Shaving; and,
  • Flushing toilets.

Use Boiled Water or an Alternative Potable Water Source* for:

  • Drinking;
  • Brushing teeth or dentures;
  • Handwashing;
    • See below for more information.
  • Washing dishes;
    • See below for more information.
  • Food preparation, including washing fruits and vegetables;
  • Preparing baby or infant formula;
    • See below for more information.
  • Making ice, juice, or other mixes;
  • Coffee makers;
  • Sponge bath babies and young children (after water cools) since they are more likely to ingest water;
  • Giving water to pets;
  • Kitchen and other household water filters or devices; and,
    • Water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute before running the water through a filter.
    • Filters which have come into contact with water affected by the boil water advisory should be replaced or disinfected following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Children’s water play, such as wading pools and water tables.

Washing Hands during a Boil Water Advisory

  • Wash hands with soap and water that has been boiled and cooled or potable water from an alternative source*.
  • If using non-boiled tap water, wash hands with liquid soap and dry thoroughly. Then use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing between 70% to 90% alcohol.

Washing Dishes during a Boil Water Advisory

  • Do not use a machine dishwasher.
  • Wash dishes with boiled water that has been cooled or potable water from an alternative source*.
  • If using non-boiled tap water, wash dishes, cutting boards, and countertops with soap and water and then disinfected with a strong bleach solution for 45 seconds:
    • Place 1 tsp (5 mL) of liquid, non-scented household bleach in 3 cups (750 mL) of water.
    • Mix and let stand for at least 15 minutes before using.
    • The mixture can be transferred to smaller clean containers for use.
    • Label the containers as follows: “STRONG BLEACH SOLUTION – DO NOT DRINK.”

Infant Formula Preparation during a Boil Water Advisory

  • Buy bottled water and sterilize it by bringing the water to a rolling boil for two (2) minutes.
  • Do not use kettles that shut off before the water has boiled for two (2) minutes.
  • For more information, please visit our Formula Feeding Videos and Resources.
  • Contact the health unit at 705-267-1181 (or 1-800-461-1818) ext. 3650 for more details about how to safely prepare formula.

*Alternative Potable Water Sources

Instead of boiling water, bottled water can be purchased from local suppliers, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and department stores.

Do not use snow as a water source.

Steps to Disinfect a Container for Storing Potable Water

  1. Clean a food-grade container and its lid with hot soapy water.
  2. Rinse the container and lid with clean water that has been boiled or from another source not affected by the advisory.
  3. Disinfect your container by mixing 10 tsp (50 mL) of liquid, non-scented household bleach with 1.1 gal (5 L) of water that has been boiled and cooled or water from another source not affected by the advisory.
  4. Ensuring the lid is securely on, shake the container for at least 1 minute.
  5. Use the same solution to disinfect the cap, lid, and mouth of the container.
  6. Empty the container and let air dry.
  7. Replace the lid.
  8. Protect the container from being exposed to the water affected by the advisory (if the water has not been boiled first).
  9. Avoid touching the mouth, cap, or lid of the container.
  10. Keep the container in a clean area, like a shelf or counter, away from surfaces (such as floors) where they may become dirty or soiled.
  11. Replace the lid on container after each use.
  12. Clean and disinfect the container and lid as described above before re-filling the container with drinking water that has been boiled and cooled or water from another potable source.

Lifting a Boil Water Advisory

The boil water advisory (BWA) will continue until the issue has been resolved and two (2) consecutive sets of samples taken 24 to 48 hours apart from all parts of the affected water system show that the Ontario Drinking Water Standards has been met. Notice will be provided once a BWA is lifted.

Actions to Take When a Boil Water Advisory is Lifted

  • Run all cold-water faucets for five (5) minutes before using the water.
  • To get rid of possible sediment, screens (also known as aerators) should be removed, rinsed, and replaced. Ensure hands are washed before handling the screens.
  • It is possible that a slight taste or smell of chlorine will be detected during the first use. The municipality or drinking water system operator may have been using a higher level of chlorination.
  • If there are any concerns, please contact the local municipal office or the operator of the drinking water system.

For more information on Boil Water Advisories, contact the duty inspector at 705-267-1181 or toll free at 1-800-461-1818.


Drinking Water Advisory – Do Not Drink the Water

Drinking Water Advisory – Do Not Drink the Water

A “Do Not Drink the Water” advisory is issued when authorities suspect or have confirmed the presence of unacceptable levels of chemical contaminants in the drinking water supply. Drinking water contaminated with these levels of chemical contaminants can pose health risks if ingested. Boiling or disinfecting the water will not remove the contaminants.

When a “Do Not Drink the Water” Advisory has been Issued

Do not drink the water from the affected water supply. An alternate source of safe drinking water* must be used for:

  • Drinking;
  • Brushing teeth or dentures;
  • Washing dishes, cutting boards, countertops, etc.;
    • Another option: use disposable dishware and utensils
  • Food preparation, including washing fruits and vegetables;
  • Preparing baby or infant formula;
    • See below for more information.
  • Making ice, juice, or other mixes;
  • Coffee makers;
  • Sponge bath babies and young children ;
  • Giving water to pets;
  • Kitchen and other household water filters or devices; and,
    • Filters which have come into contact with water affected by the advisory should be replaced.
  • Children’s water play, such as wading pools and water tables

Even if boiled or disinfected, the water is not safe to drink.

Hand Washing, Bathing, and Laundry

  • Hands can be washed with soap and water. If hands are not visibly soiled, then alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 70-90% alcohol.
  • Infants, babies, toddlers, and young children should not take baths or showers as they are likely to ingest water. Give sponge baths instead.
  • Adults, teens, and older children can take showers, avoiding the face.
  • Laundry can be done as usual; however, the tap water may discolour clothing.
  • Toilets can be flushed with tap water.

Infant Formula Preparation during a Drinking Water Advisory

  • Buy bottled water and sterilize it by bringing the water to a rolling boil for two (2) minutes.
  • Do not use kettles that shut off before the water has boiled for two (2) minutes.
  • For more information, please visit our Formula Feeding Videos and Resources.
  • Contact the health unit at 705-267-1181 (or 1-800-461-1818) ext. 3650 for more details about how to safely prepare formula.

*Alternative Potable Water Sources

  • Bottled water can be purchased from local suppliers, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and department stores.
  • Always follow the directions from the municipality or drinking water supply operator.

 Do not use snow as a water source.

 Steps to Disinfect a Container for Storing Potable Water

  1. Clean a food-grade container and its lid with hot soapy water.
  2. Rinse the container and lid with clean water from another source not affected by the advisory.
  3. Disinfect your container by mixing 50 mL (1.76 fl oz) of liquid, non-scented household bleach with 5 L (1.1 gal) of water from another source not affected by the advisory.
  4. Ensuring the lid is securely on, shake the container for at least 1 minute.
  5. Use the same solution to disinfect the cap, lid, and mouth of the container.
  6. Empty the container and let air dry.
  7. Replace the lid.
  8. Protect the container from being exposed to the water affected by the advisory.
  9. Avoid touching the mouth, cap, or lid of the container.
  10. Keep the container in a clean area, like a shelf or counter, away from surfaces (such as floors) where they may become dirty or soiled.
  11. Replace the lid on container after each use.
  12. Clean and disinfect the container and lid as described above before re-filling the container with drinking water from another potable source.

Lifting a “Do Not Drink the Water” Advisory

The “Do Not Drink the Water” advisory will continue until the issue has been resolved and two (2) consecutive sets of samples taken 24 to 48 hours apart from all parts of the water system show that the Ontario Drinking Water Standards have been met. Notice will be provided once an advisory is lifted.

Actions to Take When a “Do Not Drink the Water” Advisory is Lifted

  • Run all cold water faucets for five (5) minutes before using the water.
  • To get rid of possible sediment, screens (also known as aerators) should be removed, rinsed, and replaced. Ensure hands are washed before handling the screens.
  • It is possible that a slight taste or smell of chlorine will be detected during the first use. The municipality or drinking water system operator may have been using a higher level of chlorination.
  • If there are any concerns, please contact the local municipal office or the operator of the drinking water system.

For more information on “Do Not Drink the Water” advisories, contact the duty inspector at 705-267-1181 or toll free at 1-800-461-1818.


Drinking Water Advisory – Do Not Use the Water

Drinking Water Advisory – Do Not Use the Water Advisory

A “Do Not Use the Water” advisory is issued when authorities suspect or have confirmed the presence of chemical or radiological contaminants in the drinking water supply. Drinking water contaminated with these contaminants can pose health risks if ingested. Boiling or disinfecting the water will not remove the contaminants.

When a “Do Not Use the Water” Advisory has been Issued

Do not use the water from the drinking water supply under any circumstances and avoid skin contact.

An alternate source of potable water* must be used for all water needs.
See below for more information on alternative potable water sources and storage.

The Water CANNOT Be Used For:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth or dentures
  • Handwashing
    • See below for more information.
  • Washing dishes, cutting boards, countertops, etc.
  • Food preparation, including washing fruits and vegetables
  • Preparing baby or infant formula
    • See below for more information.
  • Making ice cubes, juice, or other mixes
  • Coffee makers
  • Giving water to pets
  • Household cleaning
  • Doing the laundry
  • Taking a shower or bath
  • Swimming
  • Kitchen and other household water filters or devices
    • Filters which have come into contact with water affected by the advisory should be replaced.
  • Children’s water play, such as wading pools and water tables

Washing Hands During a “Do Not Use the Water” Advisory

  • Wash hands with soap and potable water from an alternative source (see below for more information).
  • If potable water from an alternative water source is not available:
    • If hands are visibly soiled, a pre-moistened towelette (such as baby wipes) can be used to remove the dirt before using alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing 70-90% alcohol).
    • If hands are not visibly soiled, then alcohol-based hand sanitizer is sufficient.

Infant Formula Preparation during a Drinking Water Advisory

  • Buy bottled water and sterilize it by bringing the water to a rolling boil for two (2) minutes.
  • Do not use kettles that shut off before the water has boiled for two (2) minutes.
  • For more information, please visit our Formula Feeding Videos and Resources.
  • Contact the health unit at 705-267-1181 (or 1-800-461-1818) ext. 3650 for more details about how to safely prepare formula.

*Alternative Potable Water Sources

  • Bottled water can be purchased from local suppliers, such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and department stores.
  • Always follow the directions from the municipality or drinking water supply operator.

 Do not use snow as a water source.

 Steps to Disinfect a Container for Storing Potable Water

  1. Clean a food-grade container and its lid with hot soapy water.
  2. Rinse the container and lid with clean water from another source not affected by the advisory.
  3. Disinfect your container by mixing 50 mL (1.76 fl oz) of liquid, non-scented household bleach with 5 L (1.1 gal) of water from another source not affected by the advisory.
  4. Ensuring the lid is securely on, shake the container for at least 1 minute.
  5. Use the same solution to disinfect the cap, lid, and mouth of the container.
  6. Empty the container and let air dry.
  7. Replace the lid.
  8. Protect the container from being exposed to the water affected by the advisory.
  9. Avoid touching the mouth, cap, or lid of the container.
  10. Keep the container in a clean area, like a shelf or counter, away from surfaces (such as floors) where they may become dirty or soiled.
  11. Replace the lid on container after each use.
  12. Clean and disinfect the container and lid as described above before re-filling the container with drinking water from another potable source.

Lifting a “Do Not Use the Water” Advisory

The “Do Not Use the Water” advisory will continue until the issue has been resolved and two (2) consecutive sets of samples taken 24 to 48 hours apart from all parts of the water system show that the Ontario Drinking Water Standards have been met. Notice will be provided once an advisory is lifted.

Actions to Take When a “Do Not Use the Water” Advisory is Lifted

  • Run all cold water faucets for five (5) minutes before using the water.
  • To get rid of possible sediment, screens (also known as aerators) should be removed, rinsed, and replaced. Ensure hands are washed before handling the screens.
  • It is possible that a slight taste or smell of chlorine will be detected during the first use. The municipality or drinking water system operator may have been using a higher level of chlorination.
  • If there are any concerns, please contact the local municipal office or the operator of the drinking water system.

For more information on “Do Not Use the Water” advisories, contact the duty inspector at 705-267-1181 or toll free at 1-800-461-1818.