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The original item was published from 9/8/2022 8:11:00 PM to 9/8/2022 10:11:29 PM.

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Posted on: September 8, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Precautionary Boil Water Advisory Issued for Large Portion of Dubuque

The City of Dubuque Water Department has issued a PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER ADVISORY for a large portion of Dubuque.


During a scheduled inspection of the water tank at 409 Gay Street, a bacteria sample tested positive. Following Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) requirements, the tank has been isolated and a follow-up sample has been taken for additional testing. The tank will be out of service until two consecutive samples have been completed, which could take approximately 48 hours. Approximately 15,600 addresses are impacted by this advisory.
Due to the potential for bacterial contamination, it is recommended that customers in the affected area boil water before drinking or using for cooking or that an alternative water source be used until the advisory is lifted.  The City is working with the IDNR and testing takes approximately 48 hours for confirmation.  Please note that this is a boil water advisory that shall remain in effect until tests from the tank are negative or absent from bacteria. Customers in the affected service area will be contacted by phone through the City’s emergency notification system.  An update will be issued when the results are available and the advisory is lifted or a boil order is declared.  RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Do not drink tap water without boiling it first. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water. 
  • Until the advisory is lifted, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation.
  • Bring water to a boil, let boil for one minute, and let it cool before drinking/using.
  • Unboiled tap water may be used for bathing and other non-drinking purposes. 
Residents seeking additional information may call 563.690.6210.
When the water tank is back in service, there may be air in your water piping and the water may be discolored. It is recommended to run the first water from a faucet that does not have an aerator screen, such as a bathtub or hose bib. Open the faucet slowly to allow the air to escape. Once the water is flowing, allow the faucet to run until the water is clear. The water may be cloudy at first due to air in the water or particles that dislodged as the pipes filled with water. This should clear fairly quickly. If water is cloudy throughout the house and it does not clear after allowing the water to run for several minutes, contact the City of Dubuque Water Department at 563.690.6210 or visit   General guidelines on ways to decrease the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1.800.426.4791.


FAQs Related to Today’s Boil Water Advisory Announcement: 

While staff are not able to respond to every question/comment we are receiving, we are posting this additional information to try to address the most frequently asked questions. We will provide additional information when it is available. Thank you for your patience with this process.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a precautionary boil advisory which will remain in place until additional testing can be completed.  Contamination has not been confirmed. 

Water treated and distributed by the City of Dubuque from its Eagle Point Water Treatment Plant is tested over 200 times per day and, every month, the city conducts 70 distribution system bacteriological water tests at different locations between tanks, towers, pumping stations, and our customers. The City also uses chlorine as a disinfectant to help destroy disease-causing organisms. During the routine tank inspection, chlorine residuals were monitored and maintained. Additionally, there was no loss of pressure in the distribution system which could potentially allow any disease-causing microorganisms to be drawn into the system.  

The initial positive test result was received today during a routine tank inspection and was for coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria are present in our environment and testing for coliform bacteria can be a reasonable indication of whether other bacteria are present.  

Additional testing is being conducted in accordance and under advisement from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources that will inform on further precautions and necessary actions beyond this boil advisory. 

It is important to note, coliform bacteria may cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, etc., if you experience any of these conditions, please contact your health care provider.  If your pet is experiencing symptoms, seek appropriate medical attention through a veterinarian. 

Washing dishes in a dishwasher will not disinfect them.  You could use bottled water or boiled water to wash dishes, or please consider using paper/disposable products.  

Use boiled and cooled, or bottled water for pets. 

Unless boiled first, do not use tap water for coffee, ice machines, or water/soda dispensers. 

You should still boil water if you have a home water filtration system, use a water filter pitcher, or have a filter on your faucet/tap. 

If your street is on the edge of the affected area but your address is not on the address list, it is because some streets are divided along the pressure zone so one side of the street could be affected and the other side is not. Please verify at

Boil Advisory Map 9.8.22
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