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How to conserve water during a boil water advisory

A countywide boil water advisory was issued Wednesday morning, affecting schools, businesses, hospitals and other services in DeKalb County.

» RELATED: What to do (and what not to do) during a boil water advisory -- 7 tips from CDC experts

A boil water advisory is a public health measure that suggests the possibility of bacterial contamination in the water system, making the water unsafe to drink tap water without boiling it first, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

» RELATED: LIVE UPDATES: Schools, hospitals, government offices impacted by massive water main break

During a boil water advisory, officials recommend residents boil tap water for one minute and conserve the water to minimize potential health hazards.

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Here are some tips on how to conserve water during a boil water advisory:

  • Store boiled or disinfected tap water in clean containers with a cover and keep them in a cool, dark place.
  • Store at least a 3-day supply of 5 liters of water per day for each person or pet in the home.
  • Plastic, food-grade bottles or containers will work great for storing your water.
  • Do not store water in containers used to hold chemicals.
  • Do not store in milk or juice containers made of plastic or cardboard.
  • If you’re storing water in 10-liter or 18-liter water containers, be sure that everyone in the home can lift the full containers.
  • Treated water in well-sealed containers can be stored for six months. Label the date on each container for safekeeping. 
  • Make new ice in your ice tray with your boiled or bottled water.
  • Cut your showers short and remember not to swallow any water when doing so. Consider a sponge bath for your baby or young child.
  • Use boiled or bottled water while brushing your teeth and keep the tap turned off.

More tips on what to do (and what not to do) during a boil water advisory.

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