Precautionary Boil Water Notices are placed into effect when pressure in a water main drops below 20 psi. This usually occurs during a water main break or a scheduled shut-off for utility repairs.

 

If Your Area Has Been Placed Under a Boil Water Notice


What To Do

If your area has been placed under a Boil Water Notice, boil the tap water at a rolling boil for one minute or use bottled water while the Boil Water Notice remains in effect for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking
  • Making Ice
  • Brushing Teeth
  • Washing Dishes 

To ensure safe drinking water, Lee County Utilities (LCU) places the affected area under a BWN until bacteriological testing shows that the drinking water is safe. These tests usually take 48 to 72 hours.

Boil Water Notice Hotline - 239-533-8575

To check the status of a BWN, you may call our Hotline at 239-533-8575. Our hotline is updated daily by 4:30 p.m. each day.

  • Available in English (Press 1) and Spanish (Press 2).
  • For the current BWN in effect (Press 1)
  • To check if a BWN has cleared (Press 2)
  • For questions or after hour emergencies (Press 3)


FAQ's


Boil Water Notice- What does it mean?

Water main breaks are a common occurrence in any public Water system resulting in temporary service interruption. Although water may be off only a short period of time, most waterline breaks require a precautionary "Boil Water" notice to all users impacted by the break. A BWN must be issued any time the water system pressure drops below 20psi.

Bring your water to a rolling boil for one minute to use water for:
     • Drinking
     • Brushing your teeth
     • Making ice
     • Washing your hands before eating
     • Washing dishes, cooking surfaces, raw foods, or rinsing food
     • Preparing other drinks like baby bottles, kool-aid, sun tea, ice tea, frozen juices etc.

How long will the need to boil water continue?


A boil water event typically lasts 48 to 72 hours, but it can be longer and may last several days. How long depends on what caused the need to boil, how quickly the problem can be corrected, and how long it takes for laboratory results to confirm your water is again ready to drink. Until the Health Department lab clears the water samples and the water is deemed safe to drink, which in most cases can be several days. In circumstances where the main break occurs from Thursday evening through Sunday evening a clearance could take even longer. The reason for that is that we are required to receive two consecutive days of clear lab results before we are able to issue a rescission notice.

How do I boil my water so that it is safe to drink?


Bring water to a FULL ROLLING BOIL for 1 MINUTE, then allow the water to COOL BEFORE USE. Because water may take 30 minutes to cool, plan ahead. Make up a batch of boiled water in advance so you will not be tempted to use it hot and risk scalds or burns. Boiled water may be used for drinking, cooking, and washing. The flat taste of boiled water can be improved by aeration: pouring it back and forth from one container to another. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or get water from another suitable source. Here's an easy way to remember...ROLL for ONE then COOL.

What about ice cubes or home prepared foods that may contain water that should have been boiled?


Discard the ice cubes. If prepared food is not reheated, be on the safe side and don’t eat it.

Does using a coffee maker make it unnecessary to boil the water I use to make coffee?


No, you should still use boiled water or bottled water to brew your coffee.

What if I have a filter system on my faucet or refrigerator?


Most point of use filter are designed to improve the taste and odor of water and not remove harmful bacteria. Check the manual or contact the manufacturer for more information. If in doubt, you should boil your water or use bottles water. It is recommended that you boil your water.

Can I use my coffee maker, ice machine, water or soda dispenser?


None of these devices should be used if they are directly connected to your water supply. Also, filters are unacceptable for removing bacteria.

Can I use the water to rinse vegetables or fruits?


No, use boiled or bottled water to rinse fruits and vegetables.

Can I hand-wash dishes with water that hasn't been boiled?


Yes, use hot, soapy water.

Can I use my dishwasher under a BWN?


You may use a dishwasher only if your model has a sanitizing cycle. That will bring the temperature high enough to destroy any bacteria that may be present. If it does not have a sanitizing cycle, or you are not sure if it does, you may hand wash dishes and utensils by following these steps:
     1. Wash the dishes as you normally would in hot water.
     2. Allow the dishes to completely air dry before using.

Can I take a shower?


Yes. Just be careful not to drink the water while you shower or bathe.

What if I think I ingested some water that should have been boiled but wasn't?


It is only a precautionary boil water notice and does not mean any bacteria or microorganism were found prior to testing. Follow the above recommendations about using your water until you are told the water is safe again.


Do I have to boil the water for my pets?


To be on the safe side, yes.

Can I do laundry?


Yes, it is okay to do laundry.


 

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