The supply of drinking water may be contaminated or stopped altogether. If you are concerned about the quality of drinking water, conserve all treated drinking water and use it for drinking only, not washing. Unnecessary water use (eg. washing clothes) should be left until the water supply has returned to normal.
Any water you think might be contaminated (eg. dirty or cloudy) should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute before drinking. (Be careful of boiling water around children).
If you are unable to boil water, use concentrated household chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) bleach to disinfect water, by mixing six drops of sodium hypochlorite to one litre of water. Leave it for at least 30 minutes before drinking. The smell and taste associated with chlorinated water will disperse if it is left to stand overnight.
If the water is very dirty or muddy, strain it through a clean cloth before boiling or treating.
If your water supply is cut off completely, save the water in your hot water system for drinking, cooking and kitchen use, but take precautions against scalding.
Water for flushing toilets can be obtained from a swimming pool, rainfall, seawater or other untreated supply.
Once the main water supply is back in operation, flush out all taps for 5-10 minutesto clear pipes of sediment.