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Tap Water – An Essential Part of a Hurricane Preparedness Plan

Public Health & Safety

In the days leading up to 2017’s Hurricane Irma, many Orange County residents heeded the advice of emergency officials to Be Aware, Prepare. Grocery stores scrambled to meet the demand for bottled water. While bottled water may be a convenient way to store water prior to a hurricane, Orange County Utilities’ customers already have a readily available source, the tap.

Orange County tap water is safe, reliable and inexpensive. Monitored 24/7, the water produced in the County’s facilities meets or exceeds state and federal standards.

The cost to customers for the first 1,000 gallons of Orange County Utilities tap water is a little more than $1, making it an excellent and cost effective source when preparing for a hurricane.

During an extended weather event, residents should plan to have one gallon of water per person, per day for drinking and sanitation purposes for at least three days following a storm.

Right before the storm, fill sanitized containers with tap water. Investing in containers, like a camping or sports cooler, may cost the same as buying cases of bottled water.

Use a food grade container that is unbreakable and has a top that can be tightly closed. Wash it with dishwashing soap and rinse completely with tap water. Make a solution of 1 teaspoon of unscented liquid household chlorine bleach and one quart of water. Pour it into the container, cover and shake well so that the solution touches all inside surfaces of the container. Wait at least 30 seconds and empty the container. Let the container air-dry before use or rinse and fill with OCU tap water. Never use containers that once held toxic substances.

In addition, residents may want to sanitize and store water in a bathtub. Details, along with other Orange County Utilities information to be used before and after the storm, can be found online in English and Spanish.

OCU tap water delivers public health, fire protection, support for the economy, and quality of life. You rely on it every day; make it a part of your hurricane preparedness plan.

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