FAST FACTS: City of Asheville boil water advisories

boil water testing in lab


Clean water helps ensure healthy communities. The City of Asheville is dedicated to ensuring safe, clean water for its residents, upholding extremely high standards and best practices that include rigorous testing. As part of the City’s unswerving dedication to ensuring safe, clean water, the water is tested at all three of Asheville water treatment plants multiple times daily.

In 2016, the City added a measure to its portfolio of safety measures: Boil Water Advisories.

The City added this additional level of water safety procedures for customers to use in the event of pressure going below a certain level (20 psi) during a water pipe replacement or emergency repair.


What a Boil Water Advisory means to you

There are two levels of notices: a Boil Water Advisory and a Boil Water Notice. Here is the difference:

  • A Boil Water Advisory is voluntarily issued when water contamination is possible. During an advisory we recommend that customers vigorously boil water for at least 1 minute before consumption or drink bottled water.
  • A Boil Water Notice is required by law to be issued when contamination is confirmed in the water system. During a notice, affected customers must boil water before consumption or use bottled water.


Events that initiate a boil water notice/order or advisory

  • Loss of pressure in the water system, or an affected area of the water system.
  • A water main break that requires water to be turned off or the pipe has to be opened to the environment.


What should you do during a boil water notice/order or advisory?

  • Boil tap water vigorously for a least one minute before using it for drinking, cooking, or any consumption. This includes water used for dental care, making ice, food preparation, or any other consumption purposes.
  • It is not necessary to boil water for showering, laundry, or other non-consumptive uses.


How long should water be boiled?

Water should be boiled from the time the advisory is issued and continue until The City of Asheville officially lifts the advisory. During the time the advisory is in effect, the Water Resources Department is performing laboratory analysis to determine if the water is safe and meets all standards. An advisory can last from 24 hours to several days, depending on the event.


How will customers be notified about Boil Water Alerts?

To be notified of an alert, we strongly suggest water customers to sign up for AVL Alert on the City of Asheville website. You will find the link on the main page. By signing up, customers will be notified via text, email and telephone (home or cell).


For more information, visit the City of Asheville Water Resources page.