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Q: What is a Boil Water Advisory?

A: A Boil Water Advisory is a recommendation made to residents to only drink tap water if it has been boiled for at least two minutes. This recommendation is made to protect people’s health.

Q: When is a Boil Water Advisory recommended?

A: The City recommends Boil Water Advisories when there is known contamination of the water supply OR when there is a risk of contamination of the water supply.

Q: What areas of Corpus Christi are affected during a Boil Water Advisory?

A: All of Corpus Christi water customers, now including those who live on Padre Island, are advised to boil their water before consumption. Customers who receive a water utility bill from the City of Corpus Christi are affected by the boil water advisory. The City is required to provide outlying cities with the same advisory. Raw water is not affected.

Q: What can I drink during a Boil Water Advisory?

A: You can drink tap water if it has been boiled for two minutes. Cool and store all boiled water in a covered container. If you do not wish to boil your water, you may choose to buy commercially packaged water for drinking.

Q: How will I know when the Boil Water Advisory has been lifted?

A: The City will notify the community when the water is safe to drink without boiling. We will alert local media, institutions (schools, hospitals), restaurants, and community centers. The information also will be posted on the City of Corpus Christi website at and social media pages on Facebook MyCity Connections and Twitter @CityofCC

Q: What should I do when the Boil Water Notice is Lifted?

A: Once the City of Corpus Christi has officially lifted the water boil notice, these are the next steps Corpus Christi water customers should take to ensure their water is safe for consumption:

  • Turn on your cold water to each of your faucets and allow to run continuously.
    • (3-5 minutes per faucet)
  • Clean and sanitize each faucet
  • If you have an automatic ice maker, fill 1-2 cycles of ice and discard before continuing use for consumption.
  • Customers with water softeners should run them on a regeneration cycle.
  • Unless otherwise directed to discard, existing water filters (refrigerators, water pitchers, faucet attached filters, coffee makers) can remain in use, but should have 1-2 gallons of water cycles ran through them prior to consumption.

Q: I drank the water before I realized there was a Boil Water Advisory. Am I going to get sick?

A: The Boil Water Advisory has been recommended as a precaution. If you drank the water before hearing of the advisory, your risk of becoming ill is low. However, if you begin to have fever, diarrhea or vomiting you should seek medical attention. Advise your health care practitioner that you have consumed tap water during the Boil Water Advisory.

Q: Can I use the water for other purposes?

A: You can use the water for bathing as long as you do not drink it. Supervise babies and children during bathing to ensure that they do not drink the water.

Q: During a Boil Water Advisory, why are restaurants/food premises still open?

A: When there is a Boil Water Advisory, restaurants/food premises are given very specific orders from the City as how to operate. These orders ensure that the foods being serviced to the public remain safe.

Q: Is it safe to eat at a restaurant? Will the restaurants have to close because of the water boil order?


  • Yes, it is safe to eat a restaurant.
  • The food service and hospitality industry follow guidelines and precautions to keep their patrons safe every day.
  • Additional protocols and precautions are followed to ensure safe water consumption during a water boil order.
  • Restaurants will not need to close because of the water boil notice.

Q: How long is boiled water safe to drink?

A: As long as the water is protected from contamination, it should remain safe to drink. Once the water has been boiled, cover it and place it in the refrigerator for future consumption.

Q: Is tap water safe for my pets?


  • Because our pets can get some of the same diseases that we do, it is advised to give our four or two-legged loved ones boiled or disinfected water until the notice has been rescinded.
  • Do not give them tap water.

Q: Can I use my coffee maker?

A: Most residential coffee makers are not capable of maintaining high temperatures for a long enough period of time to make the water safe to drink. Coffee and tea can be made by using water that has been brought to a rolling boil for two minutes or bottled water. If using an automatic shut off kettle, make sure the water has boiled for two minutes.

Q: Will my water softener, reverse osmosis system, or the filters I use in my coffee maker, fridge ice machine, Brita water pitcher, or soda dispenser exempt me from the water boil order?


  • Any water softeners, filtration devices or reverse osmosis systems do not exempt you from the water boil order.
  • Water used through your refrigerator, faucet, or pitcher filtration system is not exempt from the water boil order. 
  • Water used in a coffee maker or k-cup device also needs to undergo the water boil procedure before being consumed. 
  • Any water (no matter the device or filter) should be boiled prior to human consumption. 

Q: How do I safely prepare my baby's formula during the Boil Water Advisory?

A: Sterilize all bottles, rings, utensils and nipples in boiling water for two minutes. The water mixed with the formula should boil at a rolling boil for at least two minutes, this will sterilize the water.

Q: What is the City doing to resolve the issue? Why is it taking so long?


  • The City is working to find a broken water main that needs repair.
  • The main is underground amongst 1800 miles of pipeline.
    • Crews are working day and night in well below average temperatures to narrow in the location of the flawed main.
  • Our distribution system is experiencing low to no pressure citywide due to the broken main.
  • Once crews can find the broken water main losing water and make necessary repairs; they can begin to stabilize our water pressure back to normal.

Q: When will my water pressure be back?


  • As soon as crews can locate and repair the broken water main, they can begin to work on stabilizing water pressure back to normal PSI (pound-force per square inch). 
    • 3 important steps need to occur:
      • Locate the underground broken water main
      • Repair and possibly replace the broken main
      • Begin restoring water pressure to it's original PSI (pound-force per square inch)
  • The low-pressure water customers are experiencing has resulting in the current water boil order.

Q: Can I use my coffee maker, ice machine, water or soda dispenser?

A: Do not use if they are directly connected to your water supply. Use bottled water or water that has been boiled or disinfected for making coffee and ice. Also, filters don’t work for removing bacteria. This includes pitcher filters (like Brita), your refrigeration filter, and filters that connect directly to your faucet.

Q: Should I use regular tap water to brush my teeth? Is it safe?

A: No, do not use regular tap water to brush your teeth. Use bottled water or water that has been boiled for human consumption for brushing your teeth.

Q: How should I wash my hands during a boil water advisory, especially during the pandemic?


  • Vigorous handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm tap water is safe for basic personal hygiene.
  • However, if you are washing your hands prior to preparing food, you should use boiled (then cooled) water, disinfected or bottled water for handwashing
    • Still follow CDC guidelines and wash hands for 20 seconds with warm boiled/disinfected water prior to preparing food.

Q: Is tap water safe for washing dishes or clothes?


  • Washing clothes
    • Using your tap water to wash clothes is safe during the water boil order. No extra precautions are necessary.
  • Washing dishes
    • Handwashing your dishes-
      • You can still use your tap water to wash your dishes in the sink with the use of soap and warm tap water. Extra precautions and protocols are needed by thoroughly rinse hand-washed dishes for a minute in a bleach solution.        
        • (1 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water).
      • Allow your dishes to completely air dry.
    • Using your dishwasher-
      • If your dishwasher has a "sanitize" setting, and the setting reaches at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can run your dishes normally and adjust your dishwasher to include the sanitize setting.
      • Most household dishwashers don't reach the proper temperature to sanitize dishes.
        • If you choose to wash your dishes in your dishwasher, you will need to still rinse them in for one minute in a bleach solution and let them air dry afterwards.
          • Bleach solution = (1 teaspoon bleach per gallon of water)

Q: Is tap water safe for bathing and shaving during a water boil notice?


  • Your water can be used for showering, baths, shaving and washing,
    • Do not swallow water or allow it to get in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Children and disabled individuals should have their bath supervised to make sure water is not ingested.
  • Minimize bathing times.
  • Though the risk of illness is minimal, individuals who have recent surgical wounds, have compromised immune systems, or have a chronic illness may want to consider using bottled or boiled water for cleansing until the advisory is lifted.