Water Emergencies and Preparedness
No Water, Leaky Water Meters, and Broken Pipes
For emergencies such as leaky water meters, no water, broken pipes, or flooding of residential streets or businesses, please contact the Maintenance Services Division at 425.430.7400. After 3:30 p.m. or on weekends, if the emergency cannot wait until the next business day, please call the Renton Police Department at 425.430.7500.
Natural disasters such as a storm or earthquake can cut off drinking water supplies with no warning. Planning for such a possibility in advance will assure that you have safe drinking water available. To be prepared for a drinking water emergency, the American Red Cross recommends storing one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for food preparation/sanitation). Store at least three days worth, and if possible, store a two week supply for each member of your family. Store water in food grade containers or you can reuse plastic soft-drink bottles. Do not use plastic jugs or cartons that have had milk or juice in them as they cannot be adequately cleaned to prevent bacteria growth. Also, avoid glass containers as they can break in a disaster. Store water in a cool place that will hopefully be safe from disaster and discard and replace the stored water every two to six months.
In a disaster, if a safe supply of water is not available, any suspect water should be treated by either boiling or adding bleach. If the water is cloudy, it should be filtered before boiling or adding bleach. This can be done with camping filters made for this purpose or by running the water through coffee filters, paper or cotton towels, or cheesecloth.
Boiling water is the best way to purify water that is unsafe because of the presence of protozoan parasites or bacteria. Heat water to a full boil in a clean metal pan for at least three minutes. Keep it covered while it cools, then store in clean containers.