Water Safety

Boil Water Order

What is a Boil Water Order?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in conjunction with SCWD and county health department, issues a Boil Water Order when there is concern about potential bacterial contamination to the water supply. Please note that a Boil Water Order has never been issued in the Santa Clarita Valley.

SCWD wants to ensure residents are prepared with the proper information, should a situation requiring a Boil Water Order arise. In case of such a concern, the CDPH and SCWD would develop a plan to eliminate any potential source of contamination and a testing plan to verify the water is safe to drink. The testing plan typically requires 48 to 72 hours to complete. When tests demonstrate there is no longer a concern for public health, the CDPH ends the Boil Water Order. The Boil Water Order can last longer than 72 hours if tests show potential further contamination.

Steps to keep your home safe during a Boil Water Order:

  • Discard any water stored before the boil water order
  • Bring water to a rolling boil for one minute, cool and store in a clean, covered container
  • If water is visibly cloudy, bring water to a rolling boil for three minutes
  • Use bottled water or distilled water from approved sources as an alternative
  • Use boiled or bottled water for drinking, cooking, cleaning produce, brushing teeth, coffee pots and ice machines
  • Household pets should also be given boiled or bottled water
  • If you need to wash dishes by hand or clean countertops, use hot, soapy water and rinse with cooled boiled water
  • Use the regular or sani-cycle on the dishwasher. The energy saving cycle won’t get water hot enough to kill parasites and bacteria
  • Laundry may be done as usual
  • Hot tubs and whirlpools maintained according to manufacturers guidelines are safe to use

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I’ve already consumed some of the water?
If you think you may have consumed water prior to notification, watch for gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor or physician immediately to determine the source of the symptoms.

How long should I let the water boil?
Customers should bring water to a boil for at least one minute and then let cool before using.

Can we use the water to wash and bathe?
Adults, teens and older children can wash, bathe or shower. However, they should avoid swallowing the water. Toddlers and infants should be sponge bathed. Washing laundry and dishes is also permitted.

I own a restaurant, what should I do?
SCWD will respond to food facility related calls at 661-259-2737.

Is it necessary to boil all water in the home during an advisory or order?
During a Boil Water Order you should boil all water used for drinking, preparing food, beverages, ice cubes, washing produce and brushing teeth. It is not necessary to boil tap water used for other household purposes, such as showering, laundry or bathing.