Breaking News
More () »

Boil water notice: Here's what you need to know

Mayor Sylvester Turner advises all City of Houston residents to continue boiling their water through at least Saturday morning.

HOUSTON — UPDATE: The boil water notice that had been in effect has been lifted.  Here's what you'll need to do before using water now.


All Houston residents are advised to boil their water because of Thursday's water main break.

The boil water notice will continue until at least 7 a.m. Saturday, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Friday.

The mayor said TCEQ approved water samples at 8 a.m. Friday but protocol requires them to check again after 18 hours. Turner said they'll make a decision on whether to lift the notice Saturday morning. 

Even though it's an inconvenience, the health department warns you shouldn't take a chance before then because there could be bacteria in the water.

"You can get toilet water coming into the main lines," said Dr. David Persse, the physician director for the City of Houston. 

The 96-inch line that burst provides 50 percent of the city's water. 

For the latest on the East Loop flooding, text 'water' to 713-526-1111

How to properly boil water

1. Bring tap water to a rolling boil for 1-2 minutes to kill bacteria.

2. Let the water cool before drinking or storing it in a clean containe.

Here are more guidelines for making sure your water is safe if you can't boil it.

Will your water filter protect you?

You should boil tap water even if it is filtered. Most household water filters do not remove bacteria.

Showing, bathing and brushing teeth

  • Do not swallow any water when bathing or showering and do not allow children to swallow water.  
  • Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water.

Which water needs to be boiled?

You should boil water before doing any of the following: 

  • Drinking
  • Preparing baby formula
  • Preparing food
  • Washing produce
  • Making ice
  • Making  coffee
  • Preparing other drinks
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Giving pets water
  • Use purified water for young children, people with weakened immune systems and people with an open wound.

Which water doesn't need to be boiled?

  • Laundry
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing hands

RELATED: All HISD schools closed Friday because of massive water main break

RELATED: List of closures: Schools, businesses impacted by water main break

RELATED: How did it happen? Massive water main break causes chaos in Houston

Safety first

If you aren't sure, it's always best to err on the side of caution. Preparing clean water by boiling is a quick and simple process and goes a long way to protect your family from illness. 

Source: Harris County Public Health


Before You Leave, Check This Out