Drinking Water FAQ
Water Quality Report
Each year, the Department of Health requires water systems to create a water quality report and distribute it to our customers. Our annual report details the sources of our drinking water, results of routine compliance lab tests for contaminants, our water use efficiency efforts for the year, and other information about the district.
A milky or cloudy appearance is usually caused by air bubbles in the water, which pose no health risk. If the water is allowed to sit, the air will dissipate, and the water will clear. If the cloudiness does not disappear, please contact us so that we may investigate.
Spots are caused by hard water, or minerals that remain after the water has evaporated. Spots can be eliminated through use of a dishwasher rinse agent.
The hardness of water varies with the water’s source. The choice to buy a softener is an aesthetic one since hard water is not harmful to health. However, water softeners typically increase the sodium content of the water, a factor that should be considered by people on low-sodium diets.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, home treatment units are rarely necessary for health reasons. Most often, water treatment units are used to remove substances that affect the aesthetic qualities of the water. If you do choose to install a home treatment unit, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions, because improperly maintained units can cause water quality problems.
The most common cause of odor in hot water is the water heater. If your cold water smells fine, check your water heater to ensure that the temperature setting is correct. Water heaters also need to be maintained (see manufacturer’s instructions). Please contact us if the odor persists or if it is present in both the hot and cold water.
Color in water is usually caused by naturally occurring organic matter, minerals, or mineral build-up in the pipes. We flush our water system regularly to clean mineral build-up and other sediments from the pipes. If you receive discolored water, first bypass your filtration and /or water softener, if possible. Then let your faucets run until the water is clear. Such substances typically do not pose a health hazard; however, we ask that you please report any instances of discolored water so that we may investigate.
Tap water providers and bottled water providers must meet the same water quality standards. In fact, tap water providers are required to conduct more frequent water quality testing and reporting than bottled water providers. Some consumers prefer the taste of bottled water, and some choose bottled water because they have special health needs. But tap water is a much better deal at costs of 1,000 times less than bottled water.
We conduct regular water system flushing to remove any mineral build-up and sediment from the pipes and to ensure that water circulates adequately throughout the system. Fire hydrants may also be opened to conduct fire-flow capability tests.
Disinfectants are required because they prevent the spread of germs that cause diseases. Years ago, before disinfectants were used for drinking water, diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery were common. Drinking water disinfection has vastly improved the quality and safety of drinking water.
We disinfect your water to ensure that it is free of harmful bacteria. To reduce any chlorine taste or smell, try refrigerating your water before drinking.
Dirt or sand can occur naturally in groundwater or as a result of a water line repair. We try to reduce the instances of dirt or sand in the water through regular flushing, which improves water quality by increasing the circulation of water in the pipes and removing most of the sediment from the water.
Water sources change at certain times of the year due to the availability of supplies. Surface water, or water that comes from sources like rivers and lakes, tends to taste slightly different than water pumped from underground aquifers.
Four Steps to Save Drop by Drop
Look at water habits developed over a lifetime. A lot of water goes down the drain because we have always thought of water as being plentiful and cheap. Become conscious of the amount of water you use and look for ways to use less whenever you can. Most importantly….think as you use water!
- Check for & Repair Leaks
A leak of just one drop per second wastes 2,400 gallons of water a year. Leaks are one of the great enemies of your water conservation program and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
- Install Water Saving Devices
There are many devices available to you at no charge which can be installed fairly easily to reduce water consumption. These include kitchen and bathroom sink aerators; low flow shower heads; and displacement devices for toilets. Investing the time and labor to install these can give big paybacks to reduce water use.
- Reuse Water
Unused or slightly used water is often suitable for other purposes, even with no treatment or filtration. For example, use fish tank water on your household plants. Besides saving water, it’s a good fertilizer. During a severe drought, reusing water may become a necessity. When maximum conservation is called for, make the most of any water before you let it go down the drain.