What’s a Boil Water Notice?

If your water company issues a Boil Water Notice, this means that their routine water quality tests have revealed the presence of some bacteria in the water supply. A Boil Water Notice means you must boil your tap water before you drink it, use it to brush your teeth, make ice cubes, prepare food, clean feeding equipment or give it to your pets.

If I’m affected what does this mean for my water supply?

The water is still safe to shower and bathe in, but make sure it does not get into your mouth. It is also safe to wash dishes, if you use hot water and dry the dishes thoroughly before use. You can continue to wash clothes and flush the toilet as normal.

We know this is an inconvenience, but these steps are necessary to ensure we can safely and confidently continue to use tap water at home for all the things we normally do.

More information about water quality can be found from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

How long will this last?

Check your water company’s website to find out whether you need to boil your water before you drink it, use it to cook with, or brush your teeth. If your area is affected, then your water is still safe to consume, as long as it’s boiled first.

You should continue to do this until your water company tells you it’s safe to stop.

What if I have a medical need?

Your water company will be able to provide additional help, like delivering bottled water in an emergency. Help is available whether your needs are long-term or short-term, for example, you’ve just come out of hospital after having a baby. To get this extra help, make sure your name is added to your water company’s Priority Services Register.

Am I entitled to compensation?

You’re not entitled to compensation simply because your area is subject to a Boil Water Notice. If you’re without water – which shouldn’t be the case in this instance – then some compensation might apply. You can find out more about the compensation rules on Ofwat’s website.

I’m boiling my kettle more – I can’t afford higher energy bills

If you’re already on a tight budget, we understand that using more power to boil your water can add to your worries. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, though – it’s essential to keep you and your family healthy. Instead, find out what extra help you can receive with your bills. Your water company can offer help with your bills, or you can use CCW’s online calculator to see what other financial support you may be entitled to. Don’t suffer in silence; there are plenty of organisations who are happy to help.

What if my water company doesn’t help?

If you’re not happy with the way your water company has dealt with you, then you can turn to CCW for help. You can get in touch with us by filling in our online form, but only do this if you’ve been through your water company’s complaints process first.