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Boil-Water Alert for Keesler AFB


Bottom Line: We anticipate the boil water notice to be in effect until further notice. The notice was issued due to high Coliform bacteria counts.

Official notification will be issued when it has been lifted. In the meantime, please continue to observe all recommendations in the initial Boil-Water Alert issued on 21 Feb 11 located below.

We have high confidence in our water system and its quality. We are working diligently to correct this issue and restore services.


Things that are ok to do/use: washing machine, hand washing, shower/bathing (pets and humans), car washing, lawn/plant irrigation, fish tanks

Things to AVOID DOING/USING: dishwasher, drinking tap water, food preparation with water, ice, refrigerator water dispensers, drinking fountains, coffee makers, soda fountain machines, brushing teeth

Water filters in refrigerators, pitchers, in-line filters and other similar systems may not filter out bacteria. Most are designed to remove chemicals and NOT bacteria.

Questions call 228-376-0590 (duty hours), 228-348-2710 (after hours)

All future updates will be via Facebook, Commander's Access Channel 14, and Keesler All email:


Keesler All Email


Water System: Keesler AFB [0240049]
Effective Date: 02/21/2011
Keesler AFB officials have issued a Boil-Water Alert for customers who receive their drinking water from their water supply located in Harrison County.

This affects approximately 8,000 customers on Keesler AFB to include the Biloxi Veteran's Affairs property. Water system officials were notified by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) that Keesler AFB did not meet water quality standards and that a Boil Water Alert is in effect.

When a distribution system loses pressure or tests positive for total coliform, Public health officials consider any system that loses pressure contaminated or tests positive for total coliform until tests prove otherwise. Health officials strongly recommend that all water be boiled vigorously for one minute before it is consumed. The water system will be notified when tests show that the water is safe to drink.

Checklist for Safe Water Use

  • Do not drink tap water while the water system is under a boil water advisory.
  • Do not drink from water fountains in parks, public or private buildings that receive water from the affected system.
  • Do not use ice unless it has been made with boiled water. Freezing will not necessarily kill harmful bacteria.
  • Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks

  • Wash your dishes in boiled water, or use paper plates for the next few days.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables with boiled or bottled water since they may have been exposed to affected water from grocery store sprayers.
  • Wash your hands and bathe as usual. Bathing is safe as long as no water is swallowed.
  • Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.
  • Cook with tap water if the food will be boiled for at least one minute.

Properly chlorinated water in swimming pools is safe.
Fish in aquariums are not affected.

Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will inactivate all major types of harmful bacteria.

When your boil-water notice is lifted:
Flush faucets for a total of 10 minutes to introduce system water throughout house plumbing.
o 1 faucet -- run for 10 minutes
o 2 faucets -- run both for 5 minutes
o 3 faucets -- run each for 3-4 minutes
Flush any faucet a minimum of 2 minutes to ensure clearing of the line serving the faucet.
Discard any drinks, ice, food, etc, made during the boil water notice.
Rewash any food or drink contact items (knifes, forks, plates, etc.) with "cleared" system water.
Check water filters (in faucets, refrigerators and elsewhere) and replace if necessary.
Do not use water from your hot water heater for drinking until several exchanges of the tank have occurred.
Run dishwasher through a cycle or two before washing dishes.

MSDH Bureau of Public Water Supply: Melissa Parker, 601-576-7518 (8am - 5pm)
Epidemiology hotline: 601-576-7400 (24 hours)
Bioenvironmental Engineering: 376-0590 (8am - 5pm) 228-348-2710 (after hours)
Please refer to the MSDH website: http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/_static/23,0,148.html

Operating Food Facilities Under a Boil Water Alert

In Food Facilities located in area where boil water alerts are in effect, the following provisions must be made.

If you are under a "Boil Water Notice" no tap water should be used. If any food or drink products were made after this time, then they should be discarded. Any surface or utensil cleaning performed after this time should be re cleaned and sanitized as outlined below.

Water used for drinking must be bottled water or water from an approved supply. Drink dispensers, iced tea and coffee machines which are connected to the water supply may not be used. Ice made with water from the facility cannot be used.

Ware washing should be minimized by using disposable supplies and utensils for food preparation and service. If any ware washing is done bottled water or water from an approved supply must be used followed by sanitization. The same holds true for water used to clean food contact surfaces.

Bottled water or water from an approved supply must be used for hand washing . This can be accomplished by using a temporary hand washing station consisting of a five gallon container with a spigot and a five gallon or greater bucket for retention.

Soap and approved water will be used to wash hands; hands will be further sanitized by the use of sanitary wipes. Individual paper towels will be used for drying.

Wear gloves for all food prep and service. Practice proper glove usage.
Use disposable serving containers and utensils. For any cooking/serving utensils that must be washed, you may set up a temporary three bucket wash rinse sanitize station. Each bucket should be large enough to immerse the articles being washed, wished and sanitized.

Toilet facilities must be available and must be maintained in a sanitary manner.

Once water has been restored, be sure that you flush out all water lines including drink dispensers, all equipment containing water reservoirs, tea machines and coffee machines prior to use. Any Ice must be discarded and then the ice machine needs to be cleaned and a run of ice produced and discarded prior to re-use of the machine.

The Food Code allows for this type of emergency situation provided you have approval from Mississippi State Department of Health. In order to received approval, you need to document that you are in compliance with the above procedures