Boiling Over

Aug. 14, 2013

Big news hit the Chicago area this week when the village of Deerfield, a suburb north of the city, issued a boil order for its residents. According to news reports, fecal coliform was found in a water sample late last week. The village issued the boil order on Monday, and lifted it on Wednesday after a series of tests found no further contamination.

The boil order was well covered by the media, with outlets indicating that boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, cooking, ice making, teeth brushing and dishwashing. Despite these warnings, confusion remained among residents who were unsure exactly what was safe. In a report by CBS Chicago, one father wondered whether it was safe to bathe his twin toddlers. Another resident was unsure whether coffee was safe to drink, questioning whether or not it was boiled. 

Other concerns came to mind as I watched the coverage of this boil order unfold – especially when it came to residents who might have softeners or filtration systems installed in their homes. They may be wondering how the boil would affect their equipment, and whether it would need any special maintenance or cleaning after the order is lifted.

Have you had experience with boil orders in your service area? How did you quell confusion among your customers? Tell us in the comments below, or e-mail us at [email protected].

The deadline for WQP's Top Projects awards is approaching soon! Be sure to nominate your best projects through our online form by Aug. 30.

Photo 4645058 © Jennbang |
Photo 10945954 © Angelico Jurado |
Photo 11479540 © Nelson Alonso |
Photo 13444369 © Cammeraydave |