Water Outages


There are several reasons for a water outage – a water main pipe break, planned repair or construction activities, or by unintentional accidents. JEA must declare a water outage when the water pressure drops below 20 psi in a water transmission line. JEA follows many operational and maintenance safeguards to help protect the integrity of water quality during outages. 

Current Water Advisories  

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Closed Title:Planned Water Outages
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These outages usually occur when JEA or our contractors are working on a project to upgrade or improve the water lines in your neighborhood. While outages are never convenient, they are sometimes necessary for us to safely complete our work. We will notify you 24-48 hours in advance of any planned water outages.
Learn More About Planned JEA Projects

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Closed Title:Unplanned Water Outages
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These type of outages are just that. Unplanned. The most common unplanned water outage occurs when a water main unexpectedly breaks. Unplanned outages can also occur during digging when equipment comes into contact with nearby water lines that have not been properly marked.
Learn More About the Importance of Ordering Underground Utility Locates

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Closed Title:Restoring Service Following a Water Outage
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Rest assured, in the case of planned or unplanned outages, our crews will work as quickly and safely as possible to make the upgrades or repairs necessary to restore your water service.

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Closed Title:Water Pressure Changes Following a Water Outage
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Customers may notice lower than normal water pressure after service has been restored. If low pressure continues, please remove the screens from your faucets, shower heads and washing machines to flush any loose sediment that may have been dislodged from older pipes on private property.

Following both planned and unplanned water outages, there is a chance a Precautionary Boil Water Advisory (BWA) will follow. Learn more below.


Boil Water Advisories (BWA)

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Health require JEA to issue precautionary boil water advisories to customers under several drinking water outage circumstances. Boil water advisories are required when: 

  • The outage impacts a large geographic area or a large population (more than 350 people or more than 150 metered services); or 
  • The duration of the outage has or is anticipated to last more than 8 hours; or 
  • Field crews suspect the water quality may have been jeopardized during the outage. 

Precautionary boil water advisories are issued until samples can be analyzed by a laboratory to ensure the drinking water did not get contaminated. It typically takes up to 48 hours for a laboratory to determine if the water is safe. It is very rare for laboratory results to indicate the drinking water is not safe as a result of a water outage. However, JEA issues these boil water advisories on the conservative side of public safety.

Boil water advisories may also be issued to specific high-risk customers who have experienced a water outage, regardless of whether or not the overall geographic area or duration of the outage would meet the above criteria. High-risk customers include the very old or very young who are more susceptible to waterborne illnesses (e.g. nursing homes, day care centers), as well as restaurants and healthcare centers. 

Mandatory boil water advisories are issued when sample testing has confirmed the presence of microorganisms in the water supply that can cause illness. While the safeguards recommended with precautionary BWAs are provided as a precaution, those steps should be considered mandatory for those under a mandatory BWA.

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Closed Title:If a Boil Water Advisory Is Issued
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Customers should boil water used for drinking and food preparation or use bottled water for those purposes while the BWA is in effect. Water used for these purposes should be brought to a rolling boil for a minimum of one minute prior to use for drinking, food preparation, or cooking. 

In the event of a power outage, customers may disinfect water using common household bleach. Customers should only use common household bleach that has 5 to 6 percent active ingredients and only use food grade containers. Customers should NOT use bleach that has perfume scents added (e.g. do NOT use lemon scented bleach, etc.).

  • Approximately eight (8) drops of bleach (which is about 1/8th of a teaspoon) should be added to one (1) gallon of tap water, shaken, and allowed to stand for 30 minutes before drinking. 
  • If the water is cloudy, approximately sixteen (16) drops of bleach (which is about 1/4 of a teaspoon) should be added to one (1) gallon of tap water, shaken, and allowed to stand for 30 minutes. There may be a slight chlorine odor and taste. 
  • For bleach with varying levels of sodium hypochlorite, please check the CDC’s website for more detailed instructions.

Restaurants should only serve bottled beverages or drinks prepared with boiling water. Food should not be prepared with water that has not been boiled. Employees should have alternate means of washing their hands to ensure cleanliness before handling food instead of using water directly from a faucet. Restaurants should contact the Department of Health, Department of Environmental Protection, or Bureau of Hotels and Restaurants for further instruction. 

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Closed Title:Not Sure if You're Affected?
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  • For planned BWAs, we'll notify you prior to the event occurring. You are given at least two days notice for planned events, so that you can prepare for the BWA.
  • For unplanned BWAs, in the case of an unplanned water main break or pressure loss, you will be notified as soon as possible if a BWA is needed.

In both cases, JEA will alert you using one or all of the following methods:

  • Hand-delivered door hangers from JEA water crews.
  • Hand-delivered notices from JEA contractors.
  • Email, text, or phone call notifying residential customers and businesses of the BWA. If you receive an email, text, or phone call, you will also receive a notification when the BWA has been lifted.
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Closed Title:Large Scale Boil Water Advisories
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If an event affects a large amount of people, BWA signs may be used in lieu of hand-delivered notices. When the Incident Response group is informed that the results of the sampling are all clear, a lifting notice is drafted. BWA signs are then replaced with BWA lifted signs. If an outage appears to cover a large scale, media outlets are also notified as another layer of public notification. 

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Closed Title:What if I Drink the Water?
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In most cases, boil water advisories are recommended only as a precaution. These advisories are issued when there is the possibility that the water supply has been contaminated, in this case, following a water main break. 

Boil water advisories are issued until samples can be analyzed by JEA’s laboratory to ensure the drinking water is not contaminated. Federal regulations require that water utilities have 2 consecutive days of negative samples from a laboratory (typically 48 hours). It is very rare for laboratory results to indicate the drinking water is not safe as a result of a water outage. However, JEA issues these boil water advisories on the conservative side of public safety.

If you drank the water before hearing of the advisory, your risk of becoming ill is very low. Anyone experiencing symptoms of gastroenteritis, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, with or without fever, should seek medical attention. Advise your health care provider that you have consumed tap water during the Boil Water Advisory. These symptoms are not unique to exposure to potential contaminants/organisms in the water, and a doctor's involvement is key to identifying the cause of your illness.

Read more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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