Why are boil orders called?

It means the drinking water system either lost pressure or the pressure dropped below 20 psi.  Illinois EPA mandates water used for consumption (e.g., drinking, cooking/preparing food, etc.) should be boiled before use for a minimum of 24 hours after the water has been restored. Testing is needed to verify the drinking water system has not been compromised during the drop in pressure. Illinois EPA mandates boil orders be imposed for a minimum of 24 hours starting when repairs are completed.

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1. What does a "boil order" mean?
2. If I'm under a boil order, how long should I boil my water?
3. Why are boil orders called?
4. Can I drink the water?
5. Can I wash my hands?
6. Can I shower or take a bath?
7. How do I wash my dishes?
8. Can I wash clothes?
9. Can my pets drink the water?
10. Is it safe to breast feed during the boil order after bathing in the water?
11. Are vending machines that mix drinks safe? (e.g., coffee, tea & hot chocolate machines)
12. What happens if you drink contaminated water?
13. What are the symptoms of water-borne illness?
14. How long will the boil order remain in effect?