People who live in Trenton or Hamilton, Ewing and Lawrence townships in New Jersey must boil their water before using until further notice -- and take extra precautions with dishes or food that has been washed in the water as well.
The Trenton Water Works is concerned about low levels of chlorine in the water caused by an equipment malfunction. Chlorine is a disinfectant; if there isn't enough of it in water, bacteria and other organisms could be present. Boiling kills those pathogens.
People in the affected area should bring tap water to a rolling boil for one minute and then allow the tap water to cool before using. They can also use bottled water.
Home water filters, however, do not provide adequate protection from microorganisms.
Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking; washing, cooking and preparing foods; making baby formula; washing vegetables and fruit; making ice; brushing teeth; and washing dishes.
In addition, residents should:
- Discard uncooked food, beverages, or ice cubes made with tap water Friday
- Keep boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking
- Avoid swallowing water while showering or bathing.
- Rinse hand-washed dishes with a diluted bleach solution (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water) or clean your dishes in a dishwasher using the hot wash cycle and dry cycle.
- Only use boiled water to treat minor injuries.
- Provide pets with drinking water that has been boiled (and cooled).
The Trenton Water Works is working to rectify the equipment malfunction.