TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Boil water notices can come at the worst times for several reasons, but what should you do or not do while under a notice?

What causes boil water notices?

Boil water notices can be issued for a few reasons. Water main breaks, equipment failure or anything that could indicate that the water has or could have germs that could make you sick.

What to do:

Immediately stop consumption of tap water if you are in an affected area. Experts say that water should be brought to a rolling boil, boiled for two additional minutes after and cooled prior to use or consumption. Even if the water is filtered, it should still be boiled.

For handwashing, the CDC says to be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, then rinse them well under running water.

When bathing or showering, be sure not to swallow any water. For brushing teeth under a boil water notice, only use boiled or bottled water.

For those that will not boil their water:

  • Use bottled water for drinking, ice making, pets, cooking and brushing your teeth
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at lease 60% alcohol to cleanse your hands
  • Use disposable plates, cups and silverware instead of dishes

What is safe to do under a boil water notice?

  • Watering plants
  • Laundry
  • Bathing

Experts recommend sponge baths for infants.