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Generally speaking, a boil order is a public advisory to boil the tap water before drinking and other human consumption uses. Boil orders are precautionary measures issued to protect public health from the possible exposure to waterborne infectious agents.

The city's water system is regulated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). IEPA requires public water systems to issue a boil order when the water pressure drops below 20 psi. The city notifies water consumers to boil all water used for drinking or culinary purposes for five minutes before consumption. Boiling water for five minutes kills bacteria so the water is safe to consume. The boil order remains in effect until tested samples demonstrate that the water is safe, or until IEPA-approved corrective action is taken.

Under most circumstances, these orders are just a precautionary measure following work on a water main. Boil orders usually impact a limited area (i.e. a particular street or subdivision). In these cases, paper notices are typically delivered to the affected properties. While most boil orders impact a small area, it is possible a boil order on a larger scale is required. When appropriate the city of Peru will notify local media outlets of the information and make notifications on the city website @ and city Facebook page @ City of Peru, Illinois Offices. In extreme wide spread situation the city of Peru CodeRed system will be activated.

In some instances, the need for a boil order is known in advance due to planned maintenance. However, it is more common for a boil order to be unplanned because it is in response to a water main break.

Boil orders issued by the city apply only to City of Peru water users.

Guidelines for Residential Water Use during a Boil Water Order

During a boil water order, residential users of affected public water supplies should take the following measures to protect themselves from consuming potentially contaminated water:

Bottled water should be used for drinking, cooking, washing fresh fruits/vegetables, hand washing and tooth brushing.

The affected tap water should be used for these purposes only after it has been brought to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.

The affected tap water may be used for washing dishes if a dishwashing machine is used. If dishes are hand washed, boiled or bottled water should be used. The affected tap water may be used if the clean dishes are immersed for at least one minute in a sink of water to which on full tablespoon of regular household bleach has been added. 5. The affected tap water may be used for bathing and/or showering.

The affected tap water may be used for household cleaning. NOTE: If the tap water is cloudy and/or contains particles, bottled water should be used.

Most Questions during a Boil Order are,

can I use my tap water for……………….. ·

  • Drinking: No ·
  • Ice Cubes: No ·
  • Brushing teeth: No ·
  • Baby’s formula: No ·
  • Washing fruit/vegetables: No ·
  • Preparing food: No ·
  • Coffee, tea, lemonade, etc.: No ·
  • Laundry: Yes ·
  • Watering grass or garden: Yes

Washing Hands

It is recommended that you wash your hands using soap and either bottled water or prebottled water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may also be used.

Showers / Baths

The risk of bathing or showering in tap water is uncertain and so should be avoided, particularly by people with open wounds or who are immunocompromised. For those people who choose to shower or bathe in the tap water, minimize the time spent in the water and be sure to keep your eyes and mouth closed. Babies and young children should not bathe or shower in tap water because they often swallow some water accidentally.

Washing Dishes

No, it is recommended that you wash your dishes using soap and either bottled water or pre-boiled water (or an automatic dishwasher).

After the boil, water order is lifted or water service resumes, these precautionary measures should be followed:

1. Flush the buildings water lines and clean faucet screens.

2. Purge the water-using fixtures and appliances of standing water and ice, such as refrigerator icemakers or coffee makers.

Questions regarding a city of Peru boil order may be directed to 815-223-2962