A small amount of chlorine, approximately one part per million* (ppm), is added to all distributed water to protect against waterborne diseases. If you choose to reduce the amount of chlorine in your water, you can purchase a household carbon filter, or allow water to stand overnight before using or drinking. Dechlorination tablets or drops may also be purchased for use in fish tanks.
*One part per million is the equivalent of one penny in $10,000 or one drop of water in a 55-gallon drum.
Cloudy or milky looking water is usually caused by dissolved air bubbles and is generally harmless. Air bubbles can be caused by pressure or temperature changes, very hot water (above 140°F), and faucet aerators. If the cloudiness is a result of air bubbles, it will clear in one to two minutes with the air bubbles rising to the top. If the cloudiness does not clear up or if it is a significant change from your normal water service and continues for several hours, please call Customer Service.
Community water fluoridation results in up to a 40% reduction in tooth decay and has been named one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The amount of fluoride currently maintained in our water supplies is 0.8-1.2 parts per million, which is consistent with the recommendation of the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Drinking Water.
If you experience an unusual change in water pressure, please call Customer Service.
Rusty or yellow water can occur when rust deposits are stirred up by an extreme change in water flow. This can also appear as small black or gray “specks.” Changes in water flow can occur when a water line breaks, water lines are flushed, system tests are performed, or fire hydrants are opened to fight fires. Changes in water flow may also occur during regular line maintenance. Rusty water typically poses no health risk and will generally clear up within 2-3 hours. However, any time your water is discolored, please call Customer Service.
Do not use your hot water faucet if rust is present—this will draw rusty water into your hot water tank.
Rusty water can stain your laundry. If clothes get stained, keep them moist until you can obtain a rust remover from any grocery store; then, follow the directions on the package.
The first step in solving an odor issue is to identify whether it originates from the household plumbing or the water. To check the water, pour a small amount of water in a glass, step away from the sink, swirl the water around inside the glass and smell it. If the water has no odor, then the likely problem is the sink drain. Drain cleaner will normally correct the problem. This problem could also arise if you do not normally flush water down that particular drain. If that is the case, try to occasionally run the tap to ensure the sewer trap remains full of water. If you are still unable to determine the origin of the odor, please call Customer Service.