If your water company issues a Boil Water Notice, this means that their routine water quality tests have revealed the presence of some bacteria in the water supply. A Boil Water Notice means you must boil your tap water before you drink it, use it to brush your teeth, make ice cubes, prepare food, clean feeding equipment or give it to your pets.

Check your water company’s website to find out whether you need to boil your water before you drink it, use it to cook with, or brush your teeth. If your area is affected, then your water is still safe to consume, as long as it’s boiled first. Keep doing this until your water company tells you to stop. You can continue to shower, wash clothes and flush the toilet as normal.

If you have a medical need, your water company will be able to provide additional help, like delivering bottled water in an emergency. Help is available whether your needs are long-term or short-term, for example, you’ve just come out of hospital after having a baby. To get this extra help, make sure your name is added to your water company’s Priority Services Register.

We understand that using more power to boil your water can add to your worries. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, though – it’s essential to keep you and your family healthy. Instead, find out what extra help you can receive with your bills. Your water company can offer help with your bills, or you can use our online calculator to see what other financial support you may be entitled to. Don’t suffer in silence; there are plenty of organisations who are happy to help.

You’re not entitled to compensation simply because your area is subject to a Boil Water Notice. If you’re without water – which shouldn’t be the case in this instance – then some compensation might apply. You can find out more about the compensation rules on Ofwat’s website.