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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

Homeowners should learn about disaster preparedness before an emergency arises. Contact your local Kentucky Emergency Management office, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services or your local health department to learn more.

  • Assemble a family disaster supply kit. Include water, food, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding, tools and any special medications. Place in a portable container such as a large covered trash can, a large cooler, a camping backpack or a duffel bag.
  • Stock up on bottled water. Store at least one gallon of water per person per day for a minimum of three days.

Emergency Disinfection

Boiling -- Vigorously boil water for one minute to kill disease-causing microorganisms present in water (at altitudes above one mile, boil for three minutes). Allow the boiled water to stand for a few hours or add a pinch of salt for each quart of water boiled to alleviate the flat taste.

Chemical Treatment -- Use household chlorine bleach according to the directions on the label to disinfect water (10 drops per quart, 20 drops per quart if water is cloudy or cold). Allow to stand at least 30 minutes. Chlorine tablets for drinking water disinfection are also readily available for purchase. Iodine drops and tablets are also viable disinfectants. Use two drops (or one tablet) per quart.

Learn more about emergency disinfection from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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