Medical Definition of Power outage drinking water safety

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Power outage drinking water safety: When power goes out, water purification systems may not be functioning fully. Use bottled water for eating, drinking or cooking. If you don't have bottled water on hand, and are not sure that your tap water is safe, follow these directions to purify tap water:

  • Boil the water vigorously (water should be bubbling and rolling) for one to 3 minutes.
  • If you can't boil water, add 8 drops of newly purchased liquid household bleach per gallon of water, stir it well, and then let the water stand for 30 minutes before you use it.
  • You also can use water-purifying tablets from your local pharmacy.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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