Frequently Asked Questions
My water is cloudy. What causes this, and is it safe to drink?
Cloudy water is caused when dissolved gases in the
source waters are released under atmospheric pressure
and increased temperature. The gases present are mostly
oxygen and carbon dioxide, and do not pose a threat to
public health. The Water Authority has two wells that are
the primary source of milky water, Plank Road and Kinns Road.
Customers in that area, and north, will be most likely to
experience milky water. If left in a glass for a minute or so,
the air will dissipate from the water, although drinking the
water without letting the air escape is not harmful.
water is discolored. What causes this, is it safe to
drink, and what do I do to get rid of it?
Discolored water results when water traveling through the
water mains reaches high enough velocities to stir the
iron and manganese sediment lying in the bottom of the
water mains. Water main breaks, fire fighting activities,
and extremely high system demand are typical causes of
discolored water. There are no health risks associated
with this type of problem, as the particulate matter
causing the discoloration is simply iron and manganese
oxides, and are not harmful. If you experience this
problem, the easiest way to eliminate the discolored water
from your system is to run as many cold water faucets,
including bath tubs, sinks, and outside spigots, as
possible at the same time. This will create a high enough
flow rate from the water main to your home to clear out
any sediment which may have found its way into your
service line. If the problem does not clear up within a
few minutes, it is possible that the sediment in the water
main has not settled out yet. In this case, wait an hour
or so and try it again.
does my hot water smell like rotten eggs?
The most common cause of "smelly water" is a non-toxic
sulfate reducing bacteria, scientifically known as
Divibrio Sulfurcans. This bacteria creates the energy it
needs to survive by converting sulfate (SO4 ) to the
hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas you smell in the water. When
chlorine is added to the public water supply for
disinfection purposes, these bacteria are destroyed,
removing the odor associated with their presence. These
bacteria can, however, under certain circumstances,
reemerge within the water system inside the home. Long
periods of no water movement, like a toilet that does not
get used often, or a hot water tank that does not get
"turned over" enough, can cause the chlorine to dissipate
out of the water, creating an ideal environment for
bacterial growth. This problem is even more prevalent in
softened water containing sodium in place of calcium and
magnesium. The added compounds of the salt to the water
speed up the depletion of anode rods used to protect the
inside of the tank from corrosive energies. Most new hot
water tanks have these anode rods in them. The rapid
depletion of the anode rod, or more precisely, the
cathodic reactions that cause the depletion, create a
release of hydrogen ions into the water which are then
converted to hydrogen sulfide gas. There are three
possible solutions to this problem. 1) Remove the anode
rod from the hot water tank. 2) Increase the temperature
inside the hot water tank to 140 degrees Fahrenheit which
will kill the bacteria. 3)Chlorinate the hot water system.
Directions for chlorination can be found on the Rheem web
site under their FAQ section on smelly water.
||I am re-siding my house and noticed
the water meter's remote reader is attached to the
existing siding. Do I need to have the Water Authority
come out and remove it, or can I do it myself?
The remote can be removed from the
siding by the homeowner by disconnecting the wire at the
terminals and unscrewing the remote from the siding. When
replacing the siding on the home, make sure to bring the
wire back through the new siding for reattachment. Once
this portion of the siding is complete, contact the Water
Authority for a service technician to come out and
reattach and recalibrate the remote.
water bill seems unusually high. Is it possible that I
used that much water?
Most customers have very consistent water usage from one
quarter to the next. Sometimes summer lawn irrigation can
produce some surprisingly high bills, especially for homes
with automatic lawn sprinklers. If your bill seems high,
check the reading on your meter to see if the meter was
read correctly by the Water Authority. If the reading
checks out, there are a number of tests that can be
performed to try to find the cause of the additional
usage. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, take a
meter reading before a cycle and after a cycle to see how
much water is used each time your sprinkler system runs.
To see if something within the home is "stealing" water,
take a meter reading before you go to bed at night, and
then read it when you get up in the morning. If there was
water used while you were sleeping, there is a good chance
that something is leaking somewhere. The two main culprits
for unintended water consumption within the home are
toilets and water softeners. If the flapper valve within
the toilet tank is leaking water into the toilet bowl, the
tank will periodically have to fill to replace the lost
water. This type of situation could go undetected for
quite a while resulting in a high water bill for the
customer. Water softeners periodically backwash themselves
with fresh water to regenerate. Sometimes the backwash
valve can get stuck in the open position causing water to
be continuously wasted to the sewer system. This is a
situation that very often goes undetected because there is
little associated noise created other than a soft
trickling sound in the sewer pipe. This can result in a
of water being wasted and some really high bills. If you
find this to be happening in your home, turn the feed to
the softener off and bypass if possible, and get the unit
Boil Water Advisory has been issued for my area. What does
it mean, and what should I do?
A Boil Water Advisory (BWA) is a preventative measure
issued to protect the health of the community from water
borne infectious agents. A Boil Water Advisory is issued
only after careful consideration among representatives
from public health, regulatory agencies and municipal
departments. A Boil Water Advisory does not necessarily
mean that a contaminant has been found to have entered the
drinking water supply, in fact, most BWA's are initiated
as precautionary measures only.
Create a supply of water for cooking, drinking and
1. Bring the water to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Timing starts
when the water starts to bubble.
2. Cool the water then place in clean containers for use or
Hot soapy water can be used for dishwashing and kitchen /
bathroom surface cleaning. As a precaution, add one
tablespoon of bleach per gallon.
Laundry water does not need to be treated. Unless
otherwise noted, water for showering does not need to be
If the water is not safe for drinking because of germs
(bacteria, viruses or parasites), good hand washing with
soap and water should be followed up with hand
disinfection with alcohol-based disinfectant.