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Water Quality

  1. My water appears milky, cloudy or white, when poured in a glass it clears from bottom to top, is it safe to drink?
  2. Why does my water appear brown or orange, when it is not used for a while?
  3. Why is our whole neighborhood experiencing brown or orange water coming out of the tap?
  4. Why is there a black ring inside my toilet bowl?
  5. What are the particles that are clogging my aerator, dishwasher hoses, etc.?
  6. I have a skin rash, is the water to blame?
  7. Why does my water taste and smell like algae, or grass or dirt?
  8. Why did all my fish die, after I put fresh water in my aquarium?
  9. Why does my water smell like bleach?

My water appears milky, cloudy or white, when poured in a glass it clears from bottom to top, is it safe to drink?

Yes, your water is safe to drink. The cloudiness is simply air. Air-bound water is most frequently seen when the water temperature is colder than the ambient air. This effect may be enhanced when an aerator is attached to the faucet’s tap. The presence of air-bound water is not harmful and no action needs to be taken to correct this phenomenon.
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Why does my water appear brown or orange, when it is not used for a while?

This is probably due to rust within your internal plumbing at your residence. We suggest you let the water run for a few minutes, until it clears, before use.
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Why is our whole neighborhood experiencing brown or orange water coming out of the tap?

Call the water department at 851-4704 or 851-4747. We will check to see if work is being done in your neighborhood. Often, when a nearby hydrant is being used, or vibration from construction activity is occurring, the flow of water in the main is upset or interrupted. This may cause minerals deposited on the walls of the main, to detach and become suspended in the water.

We suggest that you, and your neighbors, run the water for a time. The greater the water usage in your area, the faster the minerals deposited in your water will clear. If possible, run the water from the cold-water tap closest to your water meter. This may prevent these minerals from traveling to other faucets farther along your water pipes. Once the water clears, it may be necessary to remove, and clean any aerators that are attached to you faucets.
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Why is there a black ring inside my toilet bowl?

This has nothing to do with water being delivered to your household. This in mildew caused by room temperature, facility usage and lighting. We suggest a chlorine-based bowl cleaner, and more ventilation during showers.
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What are the particles that are clogging my aerator, dishwasher hoses, etc.?

Let’s do a quick test to see what these particles are. Collect some of these particles and place them in a small cup. Slowly and carefully pour a small amount of household vinegar in this cup. If these particles dissolve in the vinegar, they are probably mineral deposits. It is quite natural to see small amounts of minerals coming from your water pipes.
But if the particles do not dissolve in vinegar, they may be plastic coming from the “dip tube” in your hot water tank. This broken down “dip tube” material closely resembles mineral deposits, but are much more abundant. When the plastic “dip tube” in a hot water tank begins to disintegrate it may wreak havoc in your plumbing. You will eventually notice a loss of hot water pressure, along with blocked aerators and hoses. The “dip tube” or perhaps the entire hot water tank may need to be replaced.
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I have a skin rash, is the water to blame?

You may have dry skin, or any number of different skin ailments (e.g. eczema), that become irritated when in contact with water. Water does not create these ailments, but the ailments may become worse when it comes in contact with water because instead of hydrating the skin, water may draw moisture away from your skin. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist regarding a remedy.
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Why does my water taste and smell like algae, or grass or dirt?

During the end of summer through fall you may notice a foul taste and odor in your water. This is an after taste do to the presence of algae in Lake Erie. We do remove, filter and disinfect algae in the production of finished water, but often the aftertaste will remain (see Aesthetic Qualities for details). Despite the taste & odor, your water is perfectly safe to consume. We suggest you place a container of water in your refrigerator. The colder the water, the less noticeable the taste.
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Why did all my fish die, after I put fresh water in my aquarium?

Tap water contains residual chlorine to keep it disinfected. This residual chlorine is deadly to fish. Before adding tap water to a fish tank it is necessary to dechlorinate the water. This can be achieved by adding a dechlorination agent, available at any pet supply store. You can also collect a quantity of water in an open container, and allow the chlorine to dissipate naturally.
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Why does my water smell like bleach?

This is a normal smell when using tap water. We add chlorine to water to keep it disinfected. At certain times of the year the chlorine smell is more noticeable. This is especially apparent when the water temperature is warmer than air temperature.
Chorine, like all gases, will travel from a warm environment to a colder one. This phenomenon is the driving force of lake effect snow as well as chlorine gas in water.
If you find the chlorine smell objectionable, try placing a container of water in your refrigerator overnight. The chlorine will escape and the chlorine odor will be gone. This water should be kept in your refrigerator because it will no longer have chlorine in it to keep it disinfected.
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