Common Water Problems

What's your water like?

Water quality should not be taken for granted. We have a team of Water and Wastewater Operators who work hard to make sure the water in your home is safe and clean. The water in our system is served by wells and is pumped to one of our three treatment buildings where Iron and Manganese are then removed from the water and it is further treated with Sodium Hypochlorite (chlorine) for disinfection. The water is then tested for Iron, Manganese and pH levels before it is allowed to enter the drinking system. Although the water is safe, you may still experience some of the following issues that are common in well systems. 

Hard Water

It is common for water that is supplied by wells in our geographical location to be considered hard and contain a higher level of calcium. This calcium may be noticeable on your appliances (faucets, toilets and outside spigots) and glassware. It will appear as a white watermark and may be more noticeable over time. This calcium is not harmful to you or your family but it may cause issues over time in your water-using appliances (hot water heater, toilets, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.) and it can reduce the amount of flow received through your taps. 

Strange Color

At times, you may notice an orange tint to your water or a rusty-orange stain in your sink or tub. Although the water is treated to reduce levels of Iron and Manganese before it enters the system, it will still contain small amounts at levels considered allowable by the Virginia Department of Heath, Office of Drinking Water (VDH-ODW). Iron and Manganese are not harmful at these levels, however, they can still cause these stains over time. 

Blue-green staining is caused by copper deposited from the corrosion of water piping and fixtures. The corrosion is most likely cause by low alkalinity, which typically results in low acidic (low pH) water. The recommended pH range for water is between 6.5 and 8.5. Many times, pH levels of less than 7.5 can cause copper corrosion.

Strange Taste or Smell

Sometimes you may experience an earthy or musty taste or smell to your water. An earthy, musty taste or smell can be caused by the growth of naturally-occurring, harmless algea blooms which can occur. This algea is filtered out during the treatment processes, however, the musty smell may still remain.

Another common source of smelly water is hydrogen sulfide or "rotten egg" smell. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that can occur when water comes into contact with organic matter or with some minerals, such as pyrite. The situation mostly occurs as groundwater filters through organic material or rocks and is generally not harmful, although objectionable. 

If you have any concerns with the water that you are receiving from the Town supply, you are encouraged to contact the Town Utility Department to discuss your concerns with a licensed operator.