Guidelines for Food Service Facilities and Public Accommodations During and After a Boil Water Advisory

During a Boil Water Advisory


  • Notify guests immediately. Post signs or copies of the water system’s health advisory at each entrance, in all restrooms, and in all guest rooms.
  • Notify and educate employees about emergency procedures.
  • Provide bottled water in guest rooms.

Food Preparation

  • Shut off appliances that use tap water, such as ice machines, drinking fountains, produce misters, bottled water refill machines, soft drink fountains connected to the water supply, and water dipper wells.
  • Discard ice and mixed beverages made with any contaminated water or water associated with the Boil Water Advisory.
  • Use packaged ice from approved sources.
  • Use bottled water, boiled water, or cooled boiled water that has been properly disinfected with bleach, for drinking, food preparation, washing produce and cooking.
  • If possible, use disposable plates, cups, and utensils.

Hygiene and Cleaning

  • Wash hands with soap and tap water. When you are done washing and drying your hands, use an alcohol based hand-sanitizer and let hands air dry.
  • Commercial dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 165°F–180°F, as determined by your local or state authorities.
  • If you are not able to use disposable plates, cups, and utensils and do not have a dishwasher, wash dishes by hand following these instructions:
    • Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
    • Create a 100 ppm free chlorine solution. In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household bleach for each gallon of warm water. The bleach label should say that it contains 8.25 percent of sodium hypochlorite.
    • Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least 1 minute.
    • Let the dishes air dry completely before using again.

Water Quality Testing

  • The Southern Nevada Water Authority will conduct water quality testing outside of your facility. Multiple samples will be collected and the boil water order will not be lifted until test results show the water is safe. This can take up to 48 hours.
  • Additional sampling from inside the building will be required for large facilities. Testing must be performed by a qualified water testing laboratory. Southern Nevada Health District can assist you with making these arrangements if needed. All costs incurred will be your responsibility. A minimum of two samples collected 24 hours apart will be required.

After a Boil Water Advisory

When an establishment is notified that the Boil Water Advisory has been lifted and the drinking water supply is safe, the following actions need to be taken.

    • Flush pipes throughout the facility by running each faucet with cold water for at least 15 minutes after free chlorine residual concentrations, cold water temperature, and water color stabilize.
    • Flush, clean, and sanitize appliances that use tap water (such as beverage dispensers, spray misters, coffee and tea urns, ice machines, glass washers, dishwashers) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle.
    • Flush hot water tanks.
    • Run drinking fountains continuously to flush the fixture for at least 15 minutes after free chlorine residual concentrations, cold water temperature, and water color stabilize.
    • Replace and sanitize water filter cartridges according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Take proper steps to flush ice machines by following the manufacturer’s instructions, including:
      • Throw out any remaining ice.
      • Flush the water line to the machine inlet.
        • Close the valve on the water line behind the machine.
        • Disconnect the water line from the machine inlet.
        • Open the valve and run water through the valve for at least 15 minutes after free chlorine residual concentrations, cold water temperature, and water color stabilize.
        • Dispose of the water.
        • Close the valve.
        • Re-assemble the inlet appurtenances
    • Discard the first two batches of ice
    • Beginning with the third ice batch, ice may be utilized from the machine for consumption

For more information, contact:
Southern Nevada Water Authority 702-862-3400
Southern Nevada Health District 702-759-1110

Contact Information

Telephone: (702) 759-0588


Updated on: October 10, 2018