Boil Order Information

Information on Precautionary Boil Orders

From time to time, the Municipal Services Department must issue a boil order notice to residents and other water customers to ensure their health and safety. Under almost all circumstances, these orders are localized to a specific area and are a precautionary measure.  However, in rare cases, a condition may arise which requires a larger boil order.  Precautionary boil orders are meant to inform customers that there has been an incident that caused the water system to become more susceptible to outside contaminants. Precautionary boil orders do NOT mean water has tested positive for contamination. It is NOT the same thing as a mandatory boil order. Instead, it is a precautionary measure meant to empower customers to make the best choices for themselves, their families or their business customers until proper testing can be completed.   

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding these boil orders for those customers who may be impacted:

1. What is a a precautionary boil order?

A precautionary boil order is most commonly issued when Village crews need to shut down a segment of water main due to an emergency water main break or other maintenance activity. IEPA rules and regulations call for the immediate issuance of a precautionary boil order for any emergency which results in water pressures falling below 20 pounds per square inch. When pressure falls below that amount, there is a possibility that organisms outside of the water pipe could infiltrate the water system and cause illness. A boil order is simply a notice that customers should boil their water being used for culinary or drinking purposes for five minutes prior to use in order to prevent possible exposure to some sort of contaminate.  In almost all cases, water can continued to be used for other purposes (such as bathing, washing clothes or gardening) without needing to boil the water.

2. Why is a boil order issued?

Boil orders can be issued for any number of reasons. The most common reason is that sustained pressure in a water main decreased to below 20 psi.  However, a larger order may be issued if the Village’s water system loses potential loses pressure and is unable to verify system pressures adjacent to the event.  These are designed to give customers a precautionary notice about their water and the tools necessarily to continue to use water while being safe.

3. How long should I boil my water?

Water should be boiled for five minutes and allowed to cool before drinking during the precautionary boil order. 

4. How will customers be notified about a boil order?

For a localized or small-scale boil order, customers will most often be informed by personal contact from a Village employee or a door hanger left on their front door.  Should a wider area need to be notified, the Village will use all its means including the Village’s website, RAVE reverse 911, social media and press releases to notify the impacted area.

5. How will customers be notified when a boil order is lifted?

If you received a door hanger for a precautionary boil order due to a nearby water main break, the boil order is in effect for 24 hours. The Village will not provide any additional notification that the boil order has been lifted. 

If a boil order was posted on the Village website or affects are larger area, notification will proceed in the same manner as the original notification. 

6. What should I do following a boil order?

Customers may want to flush their home’s piping by letting a faucet flow for a few minutes.  However, in most cases, as the order was precautionary, no special actions need to be taken.  If additional steps are necessary, instructions will be issued with the notice to lift the order.

7. If I have further questions, who should I contact?

For generalized questions, please contact the Municipal Services Department at 708 246-1800 x 200 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For questions regarding a specific boil order, contact Erin Duffy, Water Plant Superintendent, at 708-246-1800 x  214 or Director of Municipal Services, Matthew Supert, at 708-246-1800 x 205 during normal business hours or the police non-emergency line at 708-246-8540 outside of regular hours.