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Civil Security

Preparedness: The most effective protective measure

Water Contamination or Shortage

A shortage or contamination of drinking water affects everyone. Contamination may occur if the waterworks malfunction, if there are floods or chemical spills or if algae gets into a body of water used as a drinking water reserve. Water shortages may be caused by an extended blackout or drought conditions.

  • Follow the instructions issued by the authorities. Often, it is a boil-water advisory, although in some rare cases of contamination, you will be instructed to drink only bottled water.

    Advice for a boil-water advisory

    When a boil-water advisory is in effect, boil your tap water for at least one minute on full boil before you drink it. You should also use boiled water for the following purposes:

    • To prepare baby formula, bottles and baby food.
    • To prepare juices, hot drinks (tea, coffee, herbal tea), etc.
    • To wash fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw.
    • To prepare food that does not require prolonged cooking (tinned soup, jelly, etc.).
    • To make ice cubes.
    • To brush your teeth and rinse your mouth.
    • To give to pets. Let the water cool before giving it to them.

    Boiled water can be kept in the fridge for up to three days in clean, sealed containers or for up to 24 hours at room temperature.

    When a boil-water advisory is in effect, unless otherwise stated in the advisory, you can use water directly from the tap for the following purposes:

    • To prepare food that will be boiled for a prolonged time, such as soups, pasta and vegetables (potatoes, green beans, etc.).
    • For personal hygiene and all other domestic uses, such as:
      • Washing hands, as long as you use soap, wash your hands carefully and dry them immediately.
      • Taking a bath or shower, as long as you do not swallow the water. It is best to bathe young children and infants with a wash cloth, to ensure they do not swallow the water or put toys that have come in contact with the water into their mouths.
      • Washing dishes with detergent. Make sure the dishes are completely dry before using them. If you have a dishwasher, use the hottest cycle for improved disinfection.
      • Doing laundry.

    Tips for after a boil-water or do-not-consume advisory

    As soon as the advisory is lifted, take these precautions:

    • Turn on all your cold water taps and let them run for a few minutes before using the water, to make sure the pipes are completely flushed. Do the same for drinking fountains.
    • Empty, wash and disinfect ice cube machines.
    • Purge outdoor taps and hoses.

    You do not have to empty your hot water tank.

  • If you have doubts about water quality, contact us.

    The water in the water supply system is tested regularly to make sure the water is safe for your health.

  • Follow the instructions issued by the authorities. They will keep you informed about the situation and how to procure drinking water.

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