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Water Is Safe to Drink

Governor lifts boil order


Governor Deval Patrick has lifted the boil water order that has been in place since Saturday when a water leak disrupted service to 130 communities in eastern Massachusetts. The governor has declared the water supply clean and safe for all purposes in all communities.

William Walter, assistant vice president for facilities management and planning, says University plumbers are flushing all water systems, as advised by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Walter says he expects the flushing of drinking fountains to be completed by mid-afternoon. Craig Hill, vice president for auxiliary services, says bottled water will be available in all dining halls until all systems have been flushed. Hill advises staff to flush departmental coffee machines before use.

The MWRA issues the following advice to all residents:

  • Cold Water Faucets: Run tap water until the water feels cold, one minute or more, before drinking, tooth brushing, or using for food preparation.
  • Hot Water Faucets: To clear hot water pipes and water heaters of untreated water, turn on all hot water faucets and flush for a minimum of 15 minutes for a typical household 40-gallon hot water tank and 30 minutes for an 80-gallon or larger hot water tank. Never use water from the “hot” faucet for drinking, cooking, or other internal-consumption purposes. After this flushing, hot water is then safe to use for washing hands and for hand-washing of dishes, pots and pans, etc.
  • Refrigerators: Water dispensers from refrigerators should be flushed by at least one quart of water.
  • Dishwashers: After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher empty one time.
  • Humidifiers: Discard any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral, medical, or health-care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.
  • Food and baby formula: Be sure you have discarded any baby formula or other foods prepared with water on the days the boil order was in effect. (If unsure of the dates, contact your water department.)
  • Ice cubes: Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil order. Then, discard ice made over an additional 24-hour period to assure complete purging of the water supply line.

The MWRA warns that some customers may experience a lack of water pressure and/or discolored water, but this does not pose a health risk.

More information can be found here.


3 Comments on Water Is Safe to Drink

  • Anonymous on 05.04.2010 at 9:24 am

    I’m so glad I came to BU Today for this news. Thanks guys!!

  • Anonymous on 05.04.2010 at 11:56 am

    so what about housing

    !!! Many of us live in housing where we have no idea of how large our hot water tanks are. I’ve made one phone call and was told to run the water for “like a minute”. After all the huge fuss, I don’t want to be doing dishes with my hot water only to be sick in a week from now.

    Is every room in a building supposed to run all its hot water faucets for 30 minutes???

  • Anonymous on 05.04.2010 at 5:51 pm

    SO…has BU flushed the hot water in the bathrooms?

    Having no idea, I continue to wash my hands with a desanitizer after using the restrooms at work.

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