Boil Water Advisory Issued for City of Nanaimo - CANCELLED

Nov. 16/15

Comes into effect at 11:59 PM Tuesday November 17

Effective 11:59 PM November 17, residents of Nanaimo are advised that the City of Nanaimo has issued a Boil Water Advisory for the users of the City drinking water system. Recent heavy rainfalls have resulted in increased turbidity in Nanaimo’s water supply. As a precaution, water users should boil their drinking water for one minute at a rolling boil. The public will be informed as soon as the turbidity issues are resolved and the advisory is lifted.


How to boil tap water

Tap water should be boiled for one minute. Use any clean pot or kettle.  Kettles that have automatic shut offs are acceptable.

After boiling, let the water cool by leaving it on the counter or in the refrigerator in covered containers. After water is boiled it can be stored in food grade containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

You can bring back flavour by shaking water in a container, pouring the water between two containers, and/or adding a pinch of salt.

Boiled water is required for:

Drinking purposes

This includes all beverage concentrates such as fruit juice and iced tea where water is added.

Food preparation

This includes washing fruits and vegetables that will not be cooked. Water used as an ingredient does not need to be boiled prior to use, providing it will be brought to a boil during the cooking process.

Coffee Machines

Coffee machines usually produce water heated to about70 to 80 degrees Celsius, which is sufficient to destroy pathogens. This temperature must be maintained for a sufficient amount of time to ensure that all harmful organisms are destroyed. Therefore, let the coffee stand for at least five minutes before drinking.    

Brushing teeth

This includes daily oral hygiene such as cleaning dentures

Infant formulas

Formulas should always be prepared by using boiled tap water or bottled water that is boiled. 

Making Ice

It is important to note that freezing does not destroy most pathogens. Bacteria and viruses can survive in frozen products for long periods of time. Discard any ice made from contaminated or potentially contaminated water

Fruit and vegetable washing

 Boiled water should be used to wash all produce that is to be eaten raw.

Home canning

To be safe postpone home canning until the boil water notice has been rescinded.

Beer and wine making

To be safe postpone beer and wine making until the boil water notice has been rescinded.

Water for pets

Veterinarians that were consulted by VIHA recommend that drinking water for pets including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles should also be boiled.  Information on water quality for livestock can be accessed at the BC Ministry of Environment water quality objectives website .

Immune-Compromised Individuals

People who are immune compromised should always boil their tap water for the purposes above.  BC Health files

The following uses do not require boiled water but require additional cleaners or sanitizers :

Cleaning food contact surfaces

Food contact surfaces are all those surfaces that food comes into contact with during the food preparation process. These include counter tops, cutting boards and chopping blocks. Food contact surfaces should be washed with clean water and then sanitized using an acceptable sanitizing agent.  Sanitizing agents for food contact surfaces include unscented household bleach, iodophors, and quaternary ammonia compounds.

To prepare stock bleach solutions add 2-4 ml of 5% bleach per liters of water (1 tablespoon per gallon).  This will make a 100 to 200 ppm chlorine solution.

Hand washing

Using warm water and soap should be sufficient. Ensure hands are thoroughly dried using paper towel. Use of alcohol sanitizer following hand washing will provide additional safety.

Dishwashing by hand

Dishes washed by hand should be sanitized for two minutes in a separate sink using a bleach solution (2-4 ml of bleach per liter of water or 1 tablespoon per gallon) after the dishes have been washed and rinsed. The dishes should then be left to air dry prior to being used. Attempting to wash and sanitize dishes in the same sink at the same time is not recommended because soap, grease and food particles interfere with the sanitizing process.

Mechanical dishwashers

Residential home-style dishwashers may not provide a high enough temperature to destroy all pathogens. Dishwashing units that reach 82 degrees Celsius (180 Fahrenheit) for twelve seconds (or an equivalent time-temperature relationship) during the final rinse cycle will destroy pathogens. See the attached PDF file on dishwashing time-temperature relationships.

To optimize dishwasher disinfection you should consider:

Using the highest temperature setting possible and
Using the heated dry cycle on the dishwasher.

All other water should be boiled.  Simply put, any water that has a chance of being ingested should be boiled.