Boil Water Alerts and Backwashing Whole House Filters

 There is a lot of advice about what to do with a drinking water filter after your city issues a boil water alert. The advice ranges from simple to way over-complicated. However, what you should do to protect a whole house backwashing filter during and after a boil water alert is not so easy to find.
The following isn’t designed to be the official last word on the subject, but here’s my method.

1. As soon as you are notified of the boil water alert, put the filter in by-pass mode so that contaminated water will not enter the filter.  Leave it there until the alert is over.


2. When normal service is restored, put the unit back into service position and do a full manual regeneration with the treated city water.

3. Return the filter to backwash position and leave it for at least a couple of days so that chlorine or chloramine can disinfect the piping downstream of the filter. Use the water as normal so that the disinfectant can clean out the house lines downstream of the filter. Make it a point to run some water through every outlet in the home.  See that the pipes get a good rinse.

4. Put the filter back into service position, do another manual regeneration, then start using the water as usual.