Friday, August 03, 2007

Get Ready Trivia: Boiling water during an emergency

Suppose your water supply has been contaminated, and your local health department issues a "boil-water notice." How long must you boil water to ensure that it's safe to drink?

a) 20 minutes
b) 10 minutes
c) 1 minute

Click on the comments section of this blog entry to read the answer!


APHA Flu Team said...

To ensure that contaminated tap water is safe to drink during a "boil-water notice," water should be heated until it boils and then boiled for one minute. After a vigorous, rolling boil for 60 seconds, allow the water to cool to room temperature. It should be safe to drink.

Surprised? The process of bringing tap water to a boil will kill the vast majority of viruses and bacteria that normally live in water at room temperature. By the time it hits 100 degrees Celsius, little has survived. For those living at higher altitudes, boiling for three minutes is recommended.

This handy trick will help you out in a pinch, but to really be prepared for an emergency, households should have a minimum of one gallon of water per person per day stockpiled. Not everyone thinks of all the reasons they might need water during a disaster. Hint: It's not just for drinking. Brushing your teeth with contaminated water is a sure-fire way to get sick, as is cleaning an open wound or washing fruits or vegetables that will be eaten raw. So stock up on water now to be ready for the worst.

healthiswealth said...

Good tip!

Anonymous said...

I never would have guessed that it only takes a minute for water to be de-contaminated! This is great advice and will save me lots of time! =)