What to do after Montecito Boil Water Notice is Lifted

Steps to recovering from Montecito Boil Water Notice

What you will be doing after the ban is lifted is flushing your entire plumbing system.  Please let us know if we can be of assistance on the following:

  • Manual Water Softener Regeneration– Given the hardness levels of Montecito, the water softener is the entry point for most homes and businesses.  With a water softener add 1-2 cupsSoftener Diagram of household “unscented bleach” to the brine tank and initiate a manual regeneration.  Possibly plan to perform this again in step 11.  Depending on your water softener this will take 90-120 minutes for a complete regeneration.  While the regeneration is in process, hard, chlorinated, tap water should be flowing into you your home if you use water during the regeneration.  This service if free to all customers who have our salt delivery service or rent equipment from us.  Depending on your tolerance to hard water you may want to keep the softener bypassed while you flush the lines.  Although not designed to, a water softener will remove trace amounts of chlorine from tap water.  At this stage we want all the chlorine we can get in, in.
  • For people with a “whole home backwashing filter”- the activated carbon should be replaced. If you have a whole home “static” filter replace the cartridge.  Completing the carbon replacement, or cartridge change, will ensure the next steps you take to flush your plumbing system will be more effective.  This system should remain bypassed until the very end of sanitation is completed.  This includes all systems from LifeSource.  This service is free to all customers renting whole-home filters from us.
  • Bypass your whole home filter– The goal here is to get the potential contaminants in your plumbing to flow down the drain and chlorinated water in the pipes.  Allow your taps to run
    Standard Bypass Valve, in "bypass"

    Standard Bypass Valve, in “bypass”

    continuously for five to fifteen minutes.  This is a good opportunity to flush sediment buildup from your standard water heater (not needed if you have a tankless water heater).  Connect a garden hose to the drain fitting of the water heater.  If the water heater is hot make sure the other end of the house is NOT dumping onto landscaping, the hot water will KILL plants. With the feed water to the water heater still “open/on” flush the water heater.  Monitor the end of the hose for debris and sediment, continue flushing the water heater until no sediment or debris is present and close the drain valve.  Next, where you can remove the aerators, starting with the hot

    Remove if you can.

    Remove if you can.

    water open all of the taps and flush for 15 minutes.  Next, do the same with all of the cold-water taps and run for five minutes.  This includes your refrigerator and other “tap” water filters also laundry room sink and run a ghost load in the washing machine (make sure the cycle uses both hot and cold water.  Don’t forget the pets: bird’s, dog’s & cat’s water bowl should be cleaned.

  • Flush & Clean Every Toilet-  Once you have flushed the other taps flush each toilet a couple of times and give it a clean.  This is most important for cat and dog family members who might use this a drinking water supply.
  • Look for any external hose bibs-  that “come off the house”. Again, there may be contaminants in these lines that could migrate back to another fixture in the house.  These can be flushed at the same time as the other domestic water lines are being flushed.
  • Change All Water Filters and Filters in Reverse Osmosis Units- This direction comes from the CDC.   The filters and housings could be harboring the Sol Wave Standard Residential Revers Osmosis Unitcontaminants that were originally in the boil water alert in the first place.  Once the filters are removed the housings should be sanitized by a professional with the correct solution.  This service if free to all customers who rent drinking water equipment from us.
  • Discard Food and Drink Made With Water- Dispose of any food or drink that may have been made with the contaminated water. Baby formula, juice from concentrate, or pitchers of water…  Dump it and start fresh.
  • Flush Icemaker & Dispose of Ice- This is a great time to clean that ice tray and get the freezer smelling fresh. Although it may seem like overkill, dump the first three batches of ice.  We don’t want any stragglers of contamination in a non-alcoholic beverage 😊.
  • Sanitize the Dishwasher- Place a soup bowl on the bottom shelf with 4 cups of regular vinegar. This will sanitize the dishwasher and remove excess soap and hardness scale that may have built up from a softener that was not working properly.
  • Put the water softener “in-service” if it was “bypassed” in step 1. Perform step 1 again if the softener was left “in-service”.  Avoid using water while the softener is regenerating, it will be hard water).  And, we want that luxurious soft water back as soon as possible.
  • Put the Whole home filter “in service”.

The above list is only a recommendation as a starting point, additional sanitation with chlorine, ultraviolet light, or other measures may be required.  Individuals, or individuals with compromised immune systems, may want to have the water tested for sanitation prior to ingesting or using.  Sol Wave Water offers full suite of Certified Laboratory water testing service.

As with everything water, if you need help with these steps please call Sol Wave Water, your local water professional to schedule a free inspection or to schedule a service call.  We are here to be of service to our amazing community.  Please remember to forward this to your family and neighbors.

Items to consider for the future:

  1. A supply of Emergency Bottled Water for your office or home. Sol Wave pre-deploys the amount of water you want to your location and rotates the stock each year.  LA County Fire recommends an on-hand supply of 1 gallon per person, per day, for up to 3 weeks.  How long do you want to be ready for?
  2. Consider a whole home Ultraviolet water sterilizer to protect against waterborne bacteria and viruses. An ultraviolet system can protect against 99.9% of waterborne microorganisms.  We offer a full line of systems and service for existing systems.
  3. Inline ultraviolet systems can be added to a reverse osmosis system for additional protection.
  4. While the RO filters are being changed and the system is being sanitized, upgrade the membrane to Ultra-Efficient. Most standard membranes send 4 gallons to drain for each gallon of water produced.  An Ultra-Efficient membrane uses only about 1 gallon to drain for each gallon produced.
  5. Salt or Potassium Delivery Service. Our regular delivery service includes maintenance and discounts on service for the equipment we maintain for you.  Plus, who wants to schlep those bags anyway?  Let Bonito and the service department take care of it for you.
  6. Have us calibrate your existing softener to match the water quality of today.  Consider upgrading to a new water softener for more water efficiency and salt efficiency.
  7. Have an emergency plan for your family and friends.  Emergency Guide emergencysurvivalguide-lowres
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