City of Andrews, TX

Boil Water Notice information

What is a boil water notice?

A boil water notice is required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) if there is a loss of water pressure in the public water system for extended periods of time.

Boil water notices are issued as a precaution to alert our water customers of the possibility that the safety of the drinking water may have been compromised. This is most commonly due to breaks in water mains in the distribution system.  Treatment technique violations such as low chlorine residual or high turbidity at the water treatment plant can also trigger a boil water notice but are extremely rare and have never occurred in Andrews.When a water main break occurs, it does not necessarily trigger a boil water notice. First, the water pressure must have dropped below 20 psi. Most water main breaks are repaired under pressure; therefore, no boil water notice is needed. Also, some water main breaks that have less than 20 psi can be isolated with valves and repaired. In these cases, the isolated section of the water pipe will be flushed, disinfected with chlorine, and sampled for bacteria to ensure the water remains safe. Only when a water main break drops below 20 psi and cannot be adequately isolated, repaired, and disinfected will a boil water notice be required.During a boil water notice, the City is in constant contact with the TCEQ. A boil water notice cannot be rescinded until repairs have been completed, mains have been flushed, chlorine residual is acceptable and water samples have been collected and tested acceptable. A boil water notice normally lasts 24 to 48 hours due to the time needed to repair the leak, flush the lines, and collect and test water samples. The water samples alone require a minimum 18 hours for completion. This process can take up to 1-2 days.

How might I be notified or learn about a Boil Water Notice in my area?

Boil Water Notices are highly localized incidences. For example, if the City of Seminole issues a Boil Water Notice, it does not mean that it is in effect in our area. We make every attempt to notify our customers if we are under a Boil Water Notice through the following methods when available:

  • Our website at When something like a boil water notice happens, we will have an emergency banner at the top of the desktop webpage that will provide a link that gives all the information about what is going on.
  • Social media: We will share the information on all our City Facebook pages – City of Andrews, Andrews Police Department, and Andrews EMS. Please make sure you are following our Facebook page so that you will receive posts in your news feed.
  • Local media: All our information and updates are sent to members of the local media simultaneously with posting to all our other platforms.

The same methods are used to notify customers of the end of a Boil Water Notice.

What should residents do during a boil water notice

CDC guidance

If your local health authorities issue a boil water advisory, you should use bottled water or boil tap water because your community’s water is, or could be, contaminated with germs that can make you sick.

Advisories may include information about preparing food, beverages, or ice; dishwashing; and hygiene, such as brushing teeth and bathing. Standard recommendations usually include this advice:

  • Use bottled or boiled water for drinking, and to prepare and cook food.
  • If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes), then allow it to cool before use.
  • Boil tap water even if it is filtered.
  • Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.
  • Use boiled or bottled water for drinking, cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, making baby formula, bathing and cleaning.


  • Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and rinse them well under running water.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

RO water systems

  • Due to variations in RO systems and how they are installed in residents’ homes, we still advise residents to boil their water as a precaution. The RO self-fill water stations also fall under the boil water notice if located within the area of a notice.

Bathing and showering

  • Be careful not to swallow any water when bating or showering.
  • Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Brushing teeth

  • Brush teeth with boiled or bottled water. Do not use untreated tap water.

Washing dishes

  • If possible, use disposable plates, cups, and utensils during a boil water advisory.
  • Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.55°Celsius), or if the dishwater has a sanitizing cycle.
  • Sterilize all baby bottles.
  • To wash dishes by hand:
    • Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
    • In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
    • Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
    • Let the dishes air dry completely before using again.


  • It is safe to wash clothes as usual.


  • Use bottled water, boiled water or water that has been disinfected with bleach to clean washable toys and surfaces.

Caring for pets

  • Pets can get sick by some of the same germs as people or spread germs to people. Provide bottled or boiled water after it has been cooled for pets to use.
  • If bottled water is not available, bring water to a full rolling boil for 1 minute (at elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes), then allow it to cool before use.
  • Boil tap water even if it is filtered.
  • Do not use water from any appliance connected to your water line, such as ice and water from a refrigerator.

Caring for your garden and houseplants

  • You can use tap water for household plants and gardens.

What should homeowners do when the boil water notice is lifted?

  • Flush household pipes/faucets first: To flush your plumbing, run all your cold water faucets on full for at least 5 minutes each. If your service connection is long or complex (like in an apartment building) consider flushing for a longer period.
  • Automatic ice makers: Dump existing ice and flush the water feed lines by making and discarding three batches of ice cubes. Wipe down the ice bin with a disinfectant. If your water feed line to the machine is longer than 20 feet, increase to five batches.
  • Water heaters, water coolers, in line filters, and other appliances with direct water connections or water tanks: Run enough water to completely replace at least one full volume of all lines and tanks. If your filters are near the end of their life, replace them.
  • Water softeners: Run through a regeneration cycle.
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) units: Replace pre-filters, check owner's manual.
  • Replace other water filters, as they are disposable and may be contaminated. This applies especially to carbon filters and others that are near the end of their life.