How do I treat water during an emergency?
Sometimes you may need to treat your water during an emergency (e.g. an earthquake) when the water’s safety may be in doubt. You can treat your tap water by either boiling it, or disinfecting it with unscented household liquid bleach or commercial disinfection tablets. For the best taste, chill the water before drinking.

Option One: Bring water to a rolling boil and then boil rapidly for at least one minute. Allow the water to cool before drinking. This is the preferred method.

Option Two: Add unscented household liquid bleach to tap water. Add 8 drops per gallon (16 cups) of water. Stir, cover and let sit for 30 minutes before using. If the water is very dirty, double the number of bleach drops to 16. The disinfected water should have a slight chlorine smell. If it doesn’t, add another dosage of bleach and let sit for 15 minutes more before using. Do not use scented, powdered or swimming pool bleach since these products may contain dangerous chemicals.

Option Three: Use commercial disinfection tablets, often found in sporting good stores, and follow package directions.

If you are without water for some time, here are some other sources of water in the house: melted ice cubes, your water heater, canned vegetables, water taken from the toilet tank (not the bowl) and then disinfected as described before.

Show All Answers

1. How much water is used in the City of Chino Hills daily?
2. What are the major components of the water distribution system?
3. Does the City utilize recycled water?
4. What makes ice cloudy?
5. Is my water safe to drink?
6. Is my drinking water completely free of microbes?
7. Are all chemicals in my drinking water bad for me?
8. Why does my water have nitrates, and where do nitrates come from?
9. How much lead and copper does my water have?
10. Is fluoride in my drinking water safe?
11. Is water with chlorine safe to drink?
12. How much chlorine do I have in my water?
13. Should I buy bottled water?
14. How can I find out what is in my water?
15. Who is making sure that my water is safe and healthy to drink?
16. What is done to purify the water before it comes out of the tap?
17. Why does my water sometimes look dirty, cloudy or have a funny color?
18. Why does my water sometimes taste or smell funny and is it safe to drink?
19. Why does my water leave spots on my glasses, coffeepot and showerhead?
20. Do I need to purchase a home treatment device to make my tap water safe?
21. Should I boil my water?
22. Do I need a water softener?
23. Can pregnant women drink tap water?
24. Can people with HIV/AIDS or weakened immune systems drink tap water?
25. How do I treat water during an emergency?
26. Who should I call if I have a problem with my tap water?