What is a Boil Water Advisory? Is it the same as a Boil Water Notice?

Boil Water Advisory

A Boil Water Advisory (BWA) is a public statement advising customers to boil tap water before consuming it. Advisories are issued when an event has occurred allowing the possibility for the water distribution system to become contaminated. 

An advisory does not mean that the water is contaminated, but rather that it could be contaminated; because the water quality is unknown, customers should assume the water is unsafe to drink and take the appropriate precautions. 

Boil Water Notice

An advisory is different from a Boil Water Notice, which is issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, all customers must boil their water before consuming it or use bottled water.

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1. What is a Boil Water Advisory? Is it the same as a Boil Water Notice?
2. What should I do during a Boil Water Advisory or Notice?
3. Do I still need to boil my water if I have a filter system on my faucet or refrigerator?
4. Is the water safe for washing dishes, laundry, and bathing?
5. How long must a Boil Water Advisory or Notice be in effect?
6. What are total coliform bacteria?
7. How will I be notified if my home/business is affected by an advisory or notice?
8. Under what circumstances will Williamsburg County Water and Sewer issue a Boil Water Advisory or Notice?
9. Why must the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) issue a Boil Water Advisory in preparation for a hurricane?
10. How will I know when the advisory or notice has been lifted?
11. Since an advisory is a precautionary measure, will I get sick if I drink the water? What if I drank some water before I found out about the advisory?
12. What are a Do Not Drink Notice and a Do Not Use Notice?