Water Boiling Guidelines


Return to Food Safety

Tri-Agency (FDACS, DBPR, and FDH) Water Boiling Advisory Guidelines for Florida

These procedures must be observed while a “BOIL WATER NOITCE” is in effect:

Tap Water

  • Do not serve water from faucets until local health authorities advise the water is safe for consumption. Boil water at a rolling boil for one minute to kill harmful bacteria.
  • If it is not possible to boil water, mix 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of unscented chlorine household bleach per gallon of water and allow to stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, add 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) and let stand for 30 minutes longer.


  • Ice bagged or made prior to the boil water order may be used.
  • Ice made after the boil water order must be discarded. Sanitize the interior of ice machines, ice trays, and built-in ice-makers with two teaspoons of household bleach in one gallon of water prior to restarting the ice-maker.


  • Do not use tap water for Handwashing. Use bottled water from an approved source or boiled cooled tap water. After proper handwashing, use a sanitizing solution on both hands.
  • Avoid bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food while boil water notice is in effect.

Cooking & Cleaning

  • Clean utensils and food-contact surfaces with a sanitizing bottled or boiled water and bleach solution.
  • Do not use tap water for food processing or food preparation until the “BOIL WATER NOTICE” is lifted by the local authorities.


  • Manually wash, rinse, and sanitize dishes, food equipment, and utensils with bottled water from an approved source or boiled tap water. Use disposable dishes and utensils when possible.

Rescinding the Boil Water Notice

  • The local Health Department will advise when a “BOIL WATER NOITCE” has been lifted. After the “BOIL WATER NOTICE” is lifted, allow water to run for five minutes at each tap to flush the lines with safe water.


Source: BOIL WATER NOTICE, By Authority of Section 381.006 and 403.855-857, Florida Statutes