Boil Water Advisories

A boil water advisory is a precautionary measure advising people to boil their tap water before using it.

Boil water advisories are issued after an event that could allow bacteria to enter the water distribution system. Such events include a large water main break, a widespread loss of system pressure, or a natural disaster.

Because it takes at least 16 hours to get test results for bacteria, a boil water advisory is a precautionary measure issued until test results confirm the water is safe. Boiling water for at least one minute will kill bacteria, if any are present.

Charleston Water System rarely issues boil water advisories. This is because in most cases, our crews can isolate a damaged water main by closing the nearest valves, then repair the pipe, disinfect it, and flush it before putting it back into service. This prevents contamination from soil and bacteria, which is why boil water advisories are not issued after most routine water main repairs. 

How will I know if a boil water advisory is issued?
We will post information here on this web site, on Twitter and Facebook, and on our phone system (843-727-6800). We'll also notify the media and take other appropriate notification measures, such phone calls and electronic sign boards. 

You can sign up to receive an email or text message notification if we issue an advisory or update an advisory. Sign up for text/email notifications

For more information, check out the FAQs below or visit the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control web site.