Frequently asked questions

1. Why is the water yellow sometimes?
Iron may have dissolved from the pipe lining.

2. Why does the water sometimes come out of the faucet completely cloudy and then clear up?
Air that has dissolved when the water was at low temperature in the pipe comes out of solution as tiny bubbles when the water temperature increases. This makes the water cloudy. As the air bubbles are released into the air, the water clears.

3. I was informed that one reading for disinfection by-products was above acceptable limits. Can I drink this water?
The water would be safe to drink. It would take a very long period of drinking such water to increase your cancer risk, and whether there is an actual risk is not completely clear (because there are only animal, not human, studies showing a risk).

4. Why use chlorine to disinfect the water if its by-products may cause cancer?
Some chlorine is necessary to kill possible microorganisms in the pipelines.

5. Are there ways to disinfect without using chlorine?
Yes, ozone and UV light. But some chlorine is still necessary.

6. Is well water better than spring-fed lake water?
No. Well water may have pollution from surrounding human activities or from substances leaching from surrounding stone. Lake water, because it supports life, may have microorganisms. But water from protected lakes will not have contamination from septic fields, agricultural pesticides and crop additives, and industrial and business waste.
Lake water is also protected from the contamination that can occur in wells from substances such as arsenic, lead, and radon leaching out fron the surrounding rocks.

7. I have heard that pipes can have bacteria that feed on the iron they contain. Is this possible?
Yes, there are bacteria that use iron as an energy source and deposit in a slime on the pipe lining.

8. Why do we flush fire hydrants?
To remove any particles that may have settled in the line.