WATER SUPPLY EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

GUIDELINES FOR FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS

To continue operating under "boil water advisories/notices" or "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.

  1. Wait thirty (30) minutes after adding chlorine before using the water for drinking or cooking purposes.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 establishments

  • direct feed coffee urns plumbed directly into the water system

  • 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 made on-site

  • 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 purposes

After the "water emergency" is officially lifted or water service resumes, these precautionary measures must be followed:

  1. Flush the building water lines and clean faucet screens, water line strainers on mechanical dishwashing machines and similar equipment.

  2. Flush and sanitize all water-using fixtures and appliances of standing water such as ice machines, beverage dispensers, hot water heaters, etc.

  3. 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.

 

   

 

 

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