Sometimes a situation occurs where the safeness (due to biological or chemical contamination) or the availability of water is a concern for the proper operation of a food service facility. When the water supply may have been biologically contaminated a Boil Water Advisory will be issued. If it is confirmed that the water supply has been biologically contaminated, a Drinking Water Warning (sometimes called a Boil Water Notice or a Tier 1 Notice) will be issued.
If a boil water advisory is issued for your area, it means that the water supply in your area may be contaminated, either by a sewage overflow, a water line break, a chemical spill, a natural disaster such as a hurricane or flood, or some other unusual event. Please check with your local government for the status of boil water advisories in your area.
If your public water system issues a Drinking Water Warning, it means the water in your area is definitely contaminated. Your family members could get very sick if they drink the water or use it to cook food.
Instructions for Businesses
Boil Water for Businesses in Spanish & Chinese
Instructions for Residents
If you cannot boil contaminated water to kill impurities, you can use bleach:
Never use water that has been or may have been contaminated with chemicals. Do not use it for cooking, drinking, hand washing, pets, etc., until the water has been declared safe by DHEC or your local water authority.
If you use a well you will want to make sure that it is not contaminated with bacteria. Do not use the water from your well until it has been tested. For information on how to have your water tested and your well disinfected, contact your local DHEC Environmental Quality Control division. For more information, see DHEC Residential Well Disinfection (pdf) or view Emergency Well Disinfection.