Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Answers to questions about Tampa's water warning

How to stay safe

Here are answers about the boil-water order issued by the city of Tampa.

What's this about? The Water Department wants all customers to boil tap water intended for internal consumption. It's a preventive measure, in case the water supply, which lost pressure for an hour in an electrical outage, was infiltrated by bacteria.

How long do I boil water? Get it rolling and let it go for a full minute.

Are there other options? Drink bottled water. Use water purification tablets. Or add eight drops of common, unscented household bleach (about 1/8 teaspoon) to 1 gallon of tap water and let it sit for 30 minutes before drinking. If the water is cloudy, the city recommends 16 drops.

How long will this situation last? Testing is under way, but the soonest the advisory would be lifted is this morning. Monitor news reports for updates.

Is my ice safe? Best to throw it away. Use old-fashioned ice cube trays and boiled water.

Can I brush my teeth? Not with tap water, until the ban is over.

How about pets? Use either bottled or sanitized water.

Can I do laundry? Yes.

Can I wash dishes? The city recommends using a dishwasher at its hottest setting, with heated drying. If you hand-wash dishes, remember to first treat the tap water.

Can I take a bath? Yes, unless you have recent surgical wounds or are chronically ill or immunosuppressed. Make it a short one. Avoid getting water in your eyes, nose or mouth, and supervise children or disabled people to ensure they do the same.

Compiled with information from Tampa Water Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Answers to questions about Tampa's water warning 02/22/13 [Last modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. AP: Rick Scott to name Jimmy Patronis CFO on Monday


    From the AP's Gary Fineout:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning to a political ally and former legislator to take over one of the top jobs in state government. 

    Then state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City Beach, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, tour downtown Panama City, Fla. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Scott will name Patronis CFO on Monday.
  2. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade


    The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  3. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie


    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.
  5. 'Sharknado' coming to Tampa Theatre with director Q&A


    A movie about a tornado filled with man-eating sharks has to be better on the big screen, right? You'll have a chance to find out for yourself when the Syfy network's original Sharknado screens at Tampa Theatre.

    The original 'Sharknado,' which premiered in 2013, will screen at Tampa Theatre.