WATER SUPPLY EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
GUIDELINES FOR FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS
To continue operating under
"interrupted water service" from water supplies, all food establishments must secure and use potable
water from an approved source, e.g., from tank trucks, or bottled water.
In emergencies, or as a temporary measure, water from contaminated or
suspect sources can be disinfected by either chlorination or boiling.
Chlorination - add six (6) drops of
liquid chlorine household bleach to one gallon of water and mix.
Chlorine bleaches are inexpensive and can be secured from most grocery,
discount, or drug stores. However, check the label to ensure that the
active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, is 5.25 percent.
Wait thirty (30) minutes after adding chlorine before
using the water for drinking or cooking purposes.
If this treatment does not give the water a taste of
chlorine, the above quantities should be doubled. Repeat the
addition of chlorine until a slight taste of chlorine is present and
use this amount for future treatments.
The taste of chlorine is not particularly unpleasant
and it will be evidence that the water is safe to drink.
Boiling - the water may also be purified
by boiling. In this method, bring the water to a full boil for at least
five (5) minutes. Cool and aerate the boiled water by pouring it through
the air from one clean container to another, or mixing rapidly with a
clean utensil. Aeration will reduce the flat taste caused by boiling.
The following are water uses that should be considered,
but not limited to:
coffee, tea, other beverages made in the food
direct feed coffee urns plumbed directly into the
post-mix soda or beverage machines
ice machines that manufacture ice on-site
washing produce or thawing frozen foods
employees hand washing
washing of cooking equipment and utensils
water used in 3-compartment sinks
water for sanitizing solution for wiping cloths
water for mechanical dishwashers
washing of fruits and vegetables
Food establishments may consider the following
alternative procedures to minimize water usage:
commercially packaged ice may be substituted for ice
single-service items or disposable utensils may be
substituted for reusable dishes and utensils
prepared foods from approved sources in place of
complex preparations on-site
restrict menu choices or hours of operation
portable toilets may be utilized for sanitary
After the "water emergency" is officially lifted or water
service resumes, these precautionary measures must be followed:
Flush the building water lines and clean faucet
screens, water line strainers on mechanical dishwashing machines and
Flush and sanitize all water-using fixtures and
appliances of standing water such as ice machines, beverage
dispensers, hot water heaters, etc.
Clean and sanitize all fixtures, sinks, and equipment
connected to water lines.
There must be water pressure before resuming operations
in a food establishment and the water should be sampled for
bacteriological quality. The safety of water cannot be judged by color,
odor, or taste.
NOTE: In case of chemical
contamination of the municipal water supply for a food establishment,
the establishment shall immediately cease use
of the water supply and contact the local health department.
Should there be any questions during water emergency
orders regarding appropriate operations at a food establishment, contact the Clark County Health Department at (812) 282-7521.