Boil Water Order Issued for Boston


Office of the Mayor

Thomas M. Menino


For Immediate Release                                                               For More Information Contact:

May 1, 2010                                                                                            Press Office, 617-635-4461

 Mayor Menino Activates Emergency Operations Center

and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

            After the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority notified the City of Boston of a major water main break in Weston and issued a Boil Water order to all MWRA communities east of Weston, the Mayor declared a state of emergency in the City and activated Boston’s emergency response teams this afternoon.  In conjunction with the MWRA’s Boil Water Order, all Boston residents should boil any drinking water and conserve non-essential water use.

            Mayor Menino received a briefing this afternoon after the break from the MWRA and state officials.  The Governor and MWRA officials noted that more information about repairs and other response efforts would be made available as the condition of the water main became clearer.  The Governor declared a State of Emergency so the National Guard could be deployed as needed to provide water.    

             Mayor Menino immediately activated the city’s emergency response operations, including:

 Automated notifications to Boston residents, using the new Reverse 911 technology system

  • Boston Police have been using bullhorns in Boston neighborhoods and housing developments to alert residents of the Boil Water Order
  • The Boston Housing Authority has been distributing flyers to its 14,000 households
  • Mayor Menino has activated Boston’s Community Emergency Response Teams
  • The Boston Public Health Commission held an emergency conference call with local hospitals, which are prepared to continue their work during this time.
  • The Mayor and city officials have contacted the Chamber of Commerce and local restaurants about taking necessary precautions and maintaining safe operations
  • Inspectional Services has put extra inspectors in the field to inform businesses about safety measures they should be taking

The Mayor expects to have more information tomorrow after the State and MWRA officials complete their assessments.

Mayor Menino notes that Boston restaurants will be open Saturday evening, and reminds Boston residents and businesses about the following: 


-          Do not use any ice made after the boil alert was issued this afternoon until further notice.  Drain and sanitize all ice machines.

-          You may wash dishes with a dish washer if it is set to a high temperature or using a chemical disinfectant

-          You should serve only bottled water for drinking or water that has been boiled for at least a full minute

-          For food preparation, you should only use water that has been boiled for at least one minute or bottled.

-          Do not use any automated beverage dispenser which has water as one of the options.


 -          The MWRA has issued a boil water order for all households in the city of Boston.

-          Water must be boiling for at least one minute before it is safe to drink.

-          Do not use any tap water for cooking, baby formula, tooth-brushing, or food preparation that has not been boiled first, or is not bottled.

-          Please check on elderly or vulnerable neighbors. 

-          Please avoid any unnecessary use of water (car washing, yard watering)

-          Showering and bathing is safe, but you are advised to close your mouth and not consume any water.

Boston residents with concerns should call the Mayor’s 24-Hour Hotline at (617) 635-4500 which will have extra staff on hand to help assist with questions.  Information is also available on

             At this time, the MWRA does not know the duration of the boil water order and the full extent of the damage.  Working with state agencies, the City will continue to monitor the situation and alert the public with further information.