Tap water: An essential part of a hurricane preparedness plan

Waiting until the storm is approaching could mean empty shelves of bottled water.

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  • | 12:28 p.m. May 17, 2023
Brian Jackson - stock.adobe.com
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Orange County residents are being warned to heed the advice of emergency officials to prepare ahead of time for hurricanes. Waiting until the storm is approaching could mean empty shelves of bottled water.

While bottled water may be a convenient way to store water prior to a hurricane, Orange County Utilities’ customers already have a readily available source, the tap.

Orange County tap water is safe, reliable and inexpensive. Monitored 24/7, the water produced in the county’s facilities meets or exceeds state and federal standards.

The cost to customers for the first 1,000 gallons of Orange County Utilities tap water is a little more than $1, making it an excellent and cost-effective source when preparing for a hurricane.

During an extended weather event, residents should plan to have one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes for at least three days following a storm.

Right before the storm, fill sanitized containers with tap water. Investing in containers, like a camping or sports cooler, may cost the same as buying cases of bottled water.

Use a food-grade container that is unbreakable and has a top that can be tightly closed. Wash it with dishwashing soap and rinse completely with tap water. Make a solution of 1 teaspoon of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach and one quart of water. Pour it into the container, cover and shake well so that the solution touches all inside surfaces of the container. Wait at least 30 seconds and empty the container. Let the container air-dry before use or rinse and fill with tap water. Never use containers that once held toxic substances.

In addition, residents may want to sanitize and store water in a bathtub. 

OCU tap water delivers public health, fire protection, support for the economy and quality of life. You rely on it every day, so make it a part of your hurricane preparedness plan.

Orange County Utilities is committed to providing safe drinking water. Occasionally, unforeseen emergencies may result in a loss of water pressure or power at our facilities, which could compromise water quality. If necessary, Orange County Utilities will issue a boil water advisory.

If you are notified that your area is under a boil water advisory, you should boil all water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, or washing dishes prior to use. Heat the water to a constant, rolling boil for at least one minute. The water is safe for bathing, laundering and other non-consumptive uses.

After your water service is restored, the boil water advisory will usually remain in effect for at least two days while samples are collected and analyzed.

You can call the Boil Water Hotline at (407) 254-9670 for information on the status of a boil water advisory.


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