This morning, a 10 foot-wide steel water pipe ruptured in the metropolitan Boston area which caused the loss of an estimated 8 million gallons of water. 

In order to maintain the flow of water for fire fighting and other critical uses, it was necessary to add untreated water to the pipes in the area.  As a result, people are being warned to bring any water that will be used for drinking or food preparation to a boil and maintain it at a rolling-boil for at least 1 full minute.  Failure to take appropriate precautions could result in serious illness.  However, the untreated water may be used for bathing, flushing and fire protection.

The rupture occurred in a custom made steel pipe which is less than 8 years old.  Cause of the break is unknown at this time.  Governor Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency.  He has requested that people avoid all unnecessary water usage until repairs are completed.  A total of 30 communities are reportedly effected.

This significant non-weather-related event, and its impact, should be a warning that you need to store drinking water in your home/apartment  — emergencies often happen without warning!

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) says the following:

You should have at least a three-day supply of water and you should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one-half gallon of water daily just for drinking.

Additionally, in determining adequate quantities, take the following into account:

  • Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
  • Very hot temperatures can double the amount of water needed.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.

How Should You Store Water?

To prepare safest and most reliable emergency supply of water, it is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open it until you need to use it.

Observe the expiration or “use by” date.

There are six basic categories of things you should stock in your home:

  • Water.
  • Food.
  • First Aid Supplies.
  • Clothing, Bedding and Sanitation Supplies.
  • Tools.
  • Special Items.

  Follow this link to the FEMA site to read their preparation guidelines.