To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our customers' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.
How could I have used this much water?
You may not have - the numbers on your meter may have been transposed or hard to read. You could possibly have a leaky toilet or faucet that's difficult to detect. Just call the office and we'll work with you to solve the problem.
What do I do if I am experiencing low pressure?
Check your meter and the surrounding area for possible leaks. Next, call our office and report low pressure for your area.
Why is my water discolored?
A repair could have been completed recently allowing air to enter the line, causing the milky look.
What chemicals does our utility district add to the water?
Only chemicals that are approved by the National Safety Foundation for treatment of drinking water.
My water tastes, looks, and smells funny. Is it safe to drink?
All public water systems are required to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.2 mg/L (tested at the end of each line) by state law. Systems that use chloramine as a disinfectant must maintain a level of 0.5 mg/L by state law. Our disinfectant levels are tested daily to ensure safety.
Why does debris come out of the faucet when running hot water?
Most likely your water heater needs to be flushed. CAUTION: Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional to flush your water heater. If you plan on doing this yourself, read the owner's manual to keep from being hurt and or damaging the water heater.
Why do I have a previous balance when I know I sent in my payment?
We may have received it after the due date or we may not have received it at all. Call our office and we will help you solve the problem.
General Information About Chloramines and Drinking Water
Why is drinking water disinfected?
Disinfecting potable water is critical to protect the public from disease-causing microorganisms. Potable (drinking) water is disinfected to inactivate (or kill) bacteria, viruses, and other organisms. Disinfection of drinking water has benefited public health enormously by lowering the rates of infectious diseases (for example, typhoid, hepatitis and cholera) spread through untreated water. In Texas, public water systems are required to disinfect water delivered to public water system users to inactivate microbial pathogens using either free chlorine or chloramines. Other disinfectant may be used ahead of the water distribution system in the treatment works but the public water system is required by the State of Texas to send water to its customers with required levels of free chlorine or chloramine present. However, disinfectants like chlorine, chloramine, chlorine dioxide, and ozone can react with naturally-occurring materials in the water to form disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as:
- Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
- Haloacetic acids (HAAs)
How are DBPs regulated in the US and Texas?
DBPs have been regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since 1979 to address health risks posed by a potential association between chlorinated drinking water and cancer, particularly bladder cancer. Current reproductive and developmental health effects data do not support a conclusion as to whether exposure to chlorinated drinking water or disinfection byproducts causes adverse developmental or reproductive health effects, but do support a potential health concern. Although uncertain, the combined health data warranted the EPA’s promulgation of the Disinfection Byproduct Rule to mitigate potential risks posed by DBPs. These byproducts, if consumed in excess of EPA's federally imposed standards over many years (i.e. chronic exposure), may lead to increased chronic health risks. The EPA has developed the Disinfection Byproduct Rule (Stages 1 and 2) to protect public health by limiting exposure to disinfectant byproducts.
What are chloramines?
Chloramines are disinfectants added to the water for public health protection. Chloramines are most commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine to treat drinking water. Chloramines provide long-lasting protection as they do not break down quickly in water pipes.
Why are chloramines used for disinfection of drinking water?
Chloramine produces lower concentrations of regulated DBPs than chlorine because chloramine is less reactive with natural organic matter that is usually found in water sources. The public water system uses chlorine to disinfect drinking water. The addition of trace amounts of ammonia to chlorine in the public water distribution system to form chloramines will improve water quality and ensure the public water system continues to comply with the EPA's increasingly stringent regulations on drinking water and DBPs.
What are other noticeable effects of using chloramines?
Chloramination typically improves the taste and smell of the water delivered through the system.
Are chloramines safe?
Yes, chloraminated water is safe for bathing, drinking, cooking and all everyday uses. Chloramines have been used safely in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain for more than 90 years. Other nearby cities such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston have been using chloramine as part of their water treatment process for decades. The USEPA estimates that more than one in five Americans regularly use drinking water treated with chloramines.
What stances does the federal US Environmental Protection Agency take on chloramine?
The EPA recognizes chloramines as a safe disinfectant and an effective way to reduce DBP formation. In addition, the EPA states that water disinfected with chloramine that meets regulatory standards has no known or anticipated adverse health effects, including skin problems, breathing problems, digestive problems or cancers.
Are there any groups who must take special precautions with water containing chloramines?
Yes. Kidney dialysis patients must remove chloramine from the water they use for dialysis treatment. Aquarium owners also must remove the chloramines from the water used for their fish in aquariums and ponds.
What special precautions do kidney dialysis patients have to take?
Chloramine, like chlorine, must be removed from the water before it can be used in kidney dialysis machines. Chloramines can be removed by adding ascorbic acid to the water or using a granular-activated carbon treatment. Kidney dialysis patients should contact their physician or local kidney dialysis center for guidance on modifications to dialysis machines and procedures. Medical centers that perform dialysis are responsible for purifying the water that enters the dialysis machines.
Kidney dialysis patients can still bathe, drink and cook with chloraminated water. The digestive process neutralizes the chloramines before they reach the bloodstream. It's only when water interacts directly in the bloodstream, as in dialysis, that chloramines must be removed.
What does the use of chloramines mean for aquarium owners?
Chloramine, like chlorine, must be removed from the water before it is added to aquariums or fish ponds, including fish and lobster tanks in restaurants and stores. The ammonia in chloramine is toxic to fish and other aquatic life as it enters the bloodstream directly through the gills. The water can be purified for fish and other aquatic life by adding specific agents (sold at pet stores) to remove chloramines and ammonia or using a high grade of granular-activated carbon to remove chloramines. Leaving water to sit is not a reliable method for removing chloramines from the water. Pet owners should visit local pet stores and pet suppliers for dechloramination products and instructions. Water conditioners specifically designed for removing chloramines are commercially available.
If chloramines are harmful to kidney dialysis patients and fish, why are they not harmful to me?
Chloramines are harmful only when they enter the bloodstream directly, as in the kidney dialysis process. Monochloramines are broken down by the saliva and further neutralized by stomach acid. They leave the body through human waste quickly and cause no adverse health effects.
Chloramine Removal-How can I remove chloramines from my tap water?
Unlike chlorine, chloramine can't be removed from drinking water by boiling water, allowing water to sit at room temperature over an extended period of time or by using reverse osmosis filters. However, there are commercial products available that remove chloramine from drinking water. Please contact a local carrier of home water filters for information on chloramine-removing filters.
I already have a water filter installed at my home, is it effective in removing chloramines?
Some modern household treatments and filters may remove chloramine. To verify whether your current treatment or filter removes chloramine, please refer to your original filter packaging or contact a local provider of home water filters.
Full EPA FAQ on Chloramine Disinfection of Drinking Water can be found at:
Basic Information about Chloramines and Drinking Water Disinfection | Drinking Water Requirements for States and Public Water Systems | US EPA