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Boil water advisory Q&A: What should you do?

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 4:19 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With the boil water advisory continuing for thousands across the Wichita metro area, we’re hearing numerous questions regarding safe practices and how best to get by until we can return to normal water use. Below are several of the more common questions we’ve heard and answers to them.

Q: Do I need to boil water if I’m on well water?

A: No.

Q: Can I take a bath/shower?

A: Yes. But if you’re giving a young child a bath, you’ll want to watch them to make sure they don’t ingest it. Ascension Via Christi Pediatrician Dr. Amy Seery recommends sponge bathing for young children.

Q: If you do ingest contaminated water, what symptoms should you look out for?

A: Seery said if you ingest the water, you should look out for stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. If you’re sick, call your personal physician.

Q: If you have filtered water systems through your fridge or sink, is the water safe?

A: Dr. Seery said those filtering devices may not be sufficient enough to take out all of the bacteria out of the water. That’s why the Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends that you don’t use ice from those appliances.

Q: Should you take the same precautions for your pets with the advisory?

A: Local veterinarians advise taking the same precautions for them.

Q: What about bottles and formula for babies?

A: Dr. Seery said you need to make sure you’re not rinsing off bottles or mixing formula with tap water.

“Again it needs to be boiled, treated water, or bottled water,” she said.

Q: What about brushing your teeth?

A: Don’t use the tap water to rinse your toothbrush.

Q: Is it safe to use the water for laundry?

A: Yes

Q: Is the water safe for your plants outside?

A: Yes. “You should be fine to use the city water to water your lawns, water your gardens and water your vegetables,” K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Agent Matt McKernan. “With vegetables, though, we always encourage you to really thoroughly wash the produce after you’ve harvested it and before you eat it. So, in this case, you want to make sure that you use either boiled water or some sort of purified water in order to thoroughly clean your vegetables before you use them.”

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