Boil Water Advisories

There are no active Boil Water Advisories at this time.

A Boil Water Advisory (BWA) is a type of public notification a water supplier may send to its consumers alerting them to boil their water before drinking it. Examples of what may trigger a BWA include: the water supplier may have exceeded one or more drinking water standards, there was a mechanical or operational malfunction at the treatment facility/facilities, or a contaminant has entered the drinking water, either accidentally or purposefully.

There are two types of Boil Water Advisories. A Precautionary Boil Water Advisory is issued when the water system experiences a loss in positive water pressure, typically due to a serious main break or low storage tank levels. A loss of positive water pressure indicates the existence of conditions that could allow contamination to enter the distribution system. This is the most common type of advisory.

A Mandatory Boil Water Notice is issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. Customers are instructed to boil the water to kill bacteria and other organisms in the water, until the issue is resolved and the notice can be lifted. Contamination from organisms, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, can cause symptoms, including nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches.

This fact sheet from the CDC outlines what you would need to do in the event of a Boil Water Advisory.

For restaurant and other business owners, the Montgomery County Health Department offers this guidance in the event of a Boil Water Advisory:

If your public water supplier is undergoing a Boil Water Advisory (BWA) affecting your facility, you must cease operations and close until the BWA is lifted by the Department of Environmental Protection, and you must also adhere to any post-contamination requirements. All food in contact with the water must be discarded. However, an eating and/or drinking establishment may remain open and operating only if a Public Health Official has pre-approved an alternative potable water source for the facility’s use.

For more information, you may visit:

The Montgomery County Office of Public Health website

The Bucks County Health Department website

In addition, the Emergency Preparedness and Response Committee of Council II 2006-2008 Conference for Food Protection has prepared a guide specifically for retail grocery and food service establishments. Click here to download it.