Boil water alert for Broke

Due to recent heavy rainfall and flooding in Broke, Council’s water supply pipelines were broken in several locations.  These are currently being repaired and we hope to restore supply in the coming days. 

Due to the potential for contamination, a Boil Water Alert applies to Broke in the area shown below.

Residents are advised that water is unsafe to drink and should follow the advice of NSW Health

Water used for drinking or food preparation should be brought to a rolling boil to make it safe. Kettles with automatic shut off switches can do this. Water should then be allowed to cool and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.

Everyone, particularly people caring for young children, should be careful to avoid scalding, when you are heating and then cooling the water.

Bottled water or cool boiled water should be used for drinking, washing uncooked food (e.g. salad vegetables and fruit), making ice, cleaning teeth, gargling and pet’s drinking water. 

Dishes should be washed in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. Children should take bottled water or cool boiled water to school.

Tap water is safe for bathing. There is a potential risk if water is swallowed during washing and bathing. Parents and carers could consider a sponge bath for children as an alternative. The Boil Water Alert has been recommended as a precaution. If you drank the water before hearing the advice, your risk of becoming ill is low. However, if you experience any ill health, please seek medical advice.

Singleton Council is working to fix the problem as quickly as possible and further updates will be provided as information is available.

This advice should be followed until further notice.

Boil water alert affected area


When is a Boil Water Alert recommended?

NSW Health recommends a Boil Water Alert when there is a known contamination of the water supply OR when there is a risk of contamination in the water supply.  NSW Health and Boil Water Alert Protocols determine the procedure to be followed. 

Why was the Boil Water Alert activated?

During recent heavy rainfall and flooding Council’s watermain to Broke was broken in several locations, leading to the potential for contamination.

As a result, Council followed the required NSW Health Protocols in issuing the Boil Water Alert.

What can I drink during a Boil Water Alert?

You can drink tap water if it has been boiled at a rolling boil for one minute. Cool and store all boiled water in a covered container.  Kettles with automatic cut-off switches are suitable and variable temperature kettles should be set to boil.  

If you do not wish to boil your water, you may choose to buy commercially packaged water for drinking.

I drank the water before I realised there was a Boil Water Alert. Am I going to get sick?

The Boil Water Alert has been recommended as a precaution. If you drank the water before hearing of the advice, your risk of becoming ill is low. 

However, if you begin to feel unwell you should seek medical attention. Advise your health care practitioner that you have consumed tap water during the Boil Water Alert.

During a Boil Water Alert, how come restaurants/food premises are still open?

When there is a Boil Water Alert, restaurants/food premises are given very specific guidelines from NSW Health as to how to operate. These guidelines will ensure that the foods being served to the public remain safe.  

The NSW Food Authority has a helpful fact sheet Guidelines for the use of Non-Potable Water in Food Businesses to assist food premises ensure their water supply is safe for food preparation and human consumption.

Can I use the water for other purposes?

You can use the water for bathing as long as you do not drink it. Supervise babies and children during bathing to ensure that they do not drink the water. Cool boiled water should be used for food preparation, brushing teeth, ice making.

How long is boiled water safe to drink?

As long as the water is protected from contamination, it should remain safe to drink. Once the water has been boiled, cover it and place it in the refrigerator for future consumption.

Can my pets drink the water? 

Pets should be provided with cooled boiled water, or water from an alternate source until the Boil Water Alert is lifted.

Can I use my coffee maker?

Most residential coffee makers are not capable of maintaining high temperatures for a long enough period of time to make the water safe to drink, use boiled water to fill your coffee machine water tank and if connected to the mains supply do not use the coffee machine until the Boil Water Alert has been lifted. Be sure to clean the coffee machine thoroughly before use once the Boil Water Alert is over.

Coffee and tea can be made by using water that has been brought to a rolling boil for a period of one minute or bottled water. If using an automatic shut off kettle, make sure the water has boiled for one minute.

Can I use my activated charcoal filter system (i.e. Brita or other brand names) to treat my water during a Boil Water Alert?

No. These filters are not designed to remove contamination from an unsafe water supply. If you have run the water through your filter during the Boil Water Alert it could be contaminated. It is recommended that you discard the filter and replace it with a new one once the Boil Water Alert is over.

How do I safely prepare my baby’s formula during the Boil Water Alert?

Sterilise all bottles, rings, utensils and nipples in boiling water for two minutes. The water being mixed with the formula should have been boil at a rolling boil for at least two minutes, which will sterilise the water, prior to mixing with the formula and feeding.