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How can I make my water safe?

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Updated August 20, 2006

Question: How can I make my water safe?
Answer: To make sure the water you drink is clean and safe, follow these simple tips:
  • Don’t drink water straight from lakes, rivers, streams, or springs.

  • Because you cannot be sure if your tap water is safe, you may wish to avoid tap water, including water or ice from a refrigerator ice-maker, which is made with tap water. Always check with the local health department and water utility to see if they have issued any special notices for people with HIV about tap water.

  • You may also wish to boil or filter your water, or to drink bottled water. Processed carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles should be safe, but drinks made at a fountain might not be because they are made with tap water. If you choose to boil or filter your water or to drink only bottled water, do this all the time.

  • Boiling is the best way to kill germs in your water.
    • Heat your water at a rolling boil for 1 minute.
    • After the boiled water cools, put it in a clean bottle or pitcher with a lid and store it in the refrigerator.
    • Use the water for drinking, cooking, or making ice.
    • Water bottles and ice trays should be cleaned with soap and water before use.
    • Don’t touch the inside of them after cleaning. If you can, clean your water bottles and ice trays yourself.
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