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City Issues Voluntary Boil Order Advisory For Impacted Residents with Low Water Pressure, Service Interruptions

This article was archived on 2/27/2021

Voluntary Boil Order Advisory

Boil Order Frequently Asked Questions

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After talking with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), the City of Tulsa has issued a voluntary boil order until further notice for Tulsa water customers who have experienced low water pressure, are seeing discolored water, and those who have recently had water service restored after their water was shutoff for waterline repairs. 

This advisory will remain in effect for at least 72 hours or until the water system says the water is safe to drink again, whichever comes later.

Impacted customers are asked to take the following precautions until further notice:

Food Establishment Water Emergency Operational Procedures

The Tulsa Health Department recommends the following actions be followed to protect public health in light of the voluntary boil order advisory. 

  1. Boil water for at least one minute
  2. Use boiled or bottled water when making coffee or tea
  3. Serve bottled or canned beverages
  4. Ice:  use premanufactured bagged ice and if ice was produced during the time of the boil water order, discard the ice and shut off water to ice machines
  5. Food Preparation: Use only bottled or boiled water to wash fruit and vegetables - best practice is to use prewashed packaged produce and fruit until advisory lifts
  6. Hand Washing: use tap water and soap to wash hands making sure to lather and scrub all surfaces for at least 20 seconds. After rinsing and drying hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains more than 60% alcohol.
    If there is a need for temporary hand wash stations set-up, use boiled or bottled water
  7. Three-Compartment Sinks: Fill with boiled or bottled water in each compartment.  Change as often as needed.  Sanitize in last compartment that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water
  8. Customer Service: Use only single service eating and drinking utensils for customer service
  9. Dipper Wells: Remove utensils and discontinue use.  Instead use boiled water and store utensils in water that is maintained above 135F
  10. Learn more at Tulsa Health Department:

Grocery Stores and Retail Outlets
In addition to deli-type operations, THD advises grocery stores and retail outlets should turn off misters in the produce department:

To be clear, this is a voluntary boil order issued as a precaution, not a mandatory boil order. In Tulsa, there have been no confirmed water quality violations reported at this time.

Voluntary boil orders are issued when conditions are present for a potential problem with the drinking water, but a problem has not been confirmed. These are most commonly issued for water main breaks and other low-pressure events where the possibility of contamination intrusion exists.

In contrast, a mandatory boil order, which is not being issued today, is issued by the ODEQ when there is a violation of drinking water regulations.

Throughout this event, the City has remained in constant contact with ODEQ regarding the City’s water situation. Only today was it recommended the City implement a voluntary boil order. The City will continue to stay in contact with ODEQ throughout the duration of this event.