Frequently Asked Questions



Where is the Master Valve?

Do you know where the master water supply valve is in your home? Does everyone else in your family know where it is?

If there's an emergency, you'll need to know in a hurry. You can't afford to waster precious minutes searching while the basement floods or the carpets are drenched. You've got to act fast.

These are the most likely locations:

  • Where the water supply pipe enters your home
  • Near your clothes washer hook-up
  • Near your water heater

Every home, apartment and business has a master water supply valve. But be sure you've found the right one. Don't make a mistake! Try turning it off briefly and see if all the water faucets in the building are shut off. If they aren't, try again.
Once you've found the right valve, mark it with a tag, a bright ribbon or colorful paint. Make it easy to see.


What do I do during a Boil Water Advisory?

Should I boil my water before my pet drinks it?
No. The water will not harm your pet.

Can I drink coffee from my coffeemaker?
Most coffeemakers do not boil the water. You should boil your water first before making coffee and tea.

Can I wash my hands?
Yes, as long as you use soap.

Can I use my ice?
No. You should throw your ice away. (From AWWA “Plain Talk About Drinking Water”)

What if I already consumed the water?
A boil water advisory is issued when there is POSSIBLE contamination to the water. At this time there is no evidence that any contamination has gotten into the water supply. However, customers should continue to boil their drinking water until the advisory is lifted.

Can I use my dishwasher (residence)?
Yes. Be sure to put soap in the dishwasher and make sure that the dishes are thoroughly dried.

Can I use my dishwasher (commercial)?
Yes. Commercial dishwashers reach above 212 degrees.

Can I brush my teeth with the water?
You should boil the water that you use to brush your teeth with because there is a possibility of ingesting the water while you are brushing.

Can I wash my dishes by hand?
Yes. The use of antibacterial soap is advised.

Does this affect my aquarium?
No. You may still use the water for your aquarium: be sure to dechlorinate as you usually do.

What about baby formula?
Water used in preparation of baby formula should be boiled.

Will my water filter clean the water?
No. All water filters do not remove bacteria from the water, if it is present.

What about the commode?
Only water that will be consumed needs to be boiled.

Can I take a shower? Will the water hurt my skin?
Yes, you can take a shower. The water will not hurt your skin.

I didn’t know about the boil water advisory. How do you notify people?
We notify all of the local TV stations, local radio stations, and the major newspaper in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

I was watching my local news stations and didn’t hear about the boil water advisory. Why didn’t they report it?
The Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) sends boil water advisories to all local television and radio stations, and follows up with a phone call to ensure each of them received the advisory. Unfortunately we do not have control over what the media reports. If we become aware of a station not reporting our advisory, we follow up with them to stress the importance of communicating the advisory to their audience.

I don’t watch TV or listen to the radio. Isn’t there another way to notify your customers?
NKWD serves over 300,000 people. Because of this large audience and the urgency of the message, methods other than the TV and radio media are just not effective at communicating boil water advisories quickly.


What is my responsibility for service line maintenance?

The Northern Kentucky Water District owns, maintains, and is responsible for the customer service line between the distribution main to the customer shut-off valve that is located near the public right of way or utility easement that contains the water main. The customer owns and maintains the customer service line from this point to and within the customer's premise.