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Government of Manitoba
Sustainable Development

Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheets

Boil water advisories are issued when a municipal, community or local water supply is at risk of microbial contamination. Advisories are issued by a Medical Officer of Health and should be followed until you are told the risk of contamination is over.

Individual private well owners may also be advised by a laboratory to boil their water if test results show bacteria are present in the well water. Boiling your drinking water will kill microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) that could cause illness.

Boil water advisories always state that all drinking water and water used for food preparation must be boiled.

Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #1 - Boil Water Advisory For Manitoba Water System Users

Most advisories are only for tap water used as drinking water and water used for food preparation – the water can still be used for bathing, showering, laundry and washing dishes. Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #1 provides information for Manitoba residents for most boil water advisories that are issued in Manitoba.

Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #2 – Boil Water Advisory For Private Well Owners

Private well owners may be advised to boil their water by a laboratory if test results find bacteria in the well water, or by a health official if a concern has been identified in a local area. Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #2 provides information for Manitoba private well owners who have been advised to boil water used for drinking or other consumptive purposes.

Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #3 – Boil Water Advisory For Commercial/Public Facilities

Boil water advisories also apply to commercial businesses (ex: restaurants) and public facilities (ex: schools) in the area where they are issued. Owners/operators of commercial and public facilities that provide water to the public are responsible for the safety of the water they supply. Operators of commercial and public facilities should follow the information in Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #3 with all boil water advisories unless told otherwise by a Medical Officer of Health or a Public Health Inspector.

Boil Water Advisory Fact Sheet #4 – Boil Water Advisory For All Domestic Water Uses

In rare circumstances, when the risks associated with a water supply are very high (ex: during a waterborne disease outbreak), additional precautions may be necessary for bathing, laundry, etc. Private well owners should follow the advice in Boil Water Advisory Fact sheets # 2 and #4 if tests show E. coli counts great than 200 per 100 ml. Water system users should follow the advice in Boil Water Advisory Fact sheets # 1 and #4 when placed under a boil water advisory for all domestic water uses.

For an up to date list of Drinking Water Advisories and Non-Potable Systems, please click here.

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