FAQ - Water Quality

Discolored water usually comes from mineral deposits that get stirred up during hydrant flushing, a water main break, or routine maintenance.  If you see discolored water, flush your faucets (cold water only) for 5-10 minutes.  If the water does not return to normal, please call 740-548-7746 and ask for our Water Quality Department.

Cloudy or milky-looking water usually comes from dissolved air in the water.  Air in the water is harmless.  The amount of air in the water can change as the temperature of the water changes (for example, cold nights followed by hot days).  Air can also get into the pipes after a water main break.  In either case, to remove the air, you can flush your faucets (cold water only) for 5-10 minutes.  If the water does not return to normal, please call 740-548-7746 and ask for our Water Quality Department.

“Hard water” refers to the minerals (e.g., calcium and magnesium) that are dissolved in your water.  During the treatment process, Del-Co lowers the hardness of the water by removing some of these minerals.  There are many ways to measure water hardness.  Del-Co Water is approximately 7 – 8 grains per gallon.  This is equivalent to 120 – 140 mg/L (or parts per million).  If you need a more specific hardness concentration, please call 740-548-7746.   

As part of the treatment process, Del-Co does add fluoride to the water.  We do this in a manner that is consistent with EPA regulations.  For more information, please follow this link:  https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/basics/index.htm

There are many potential causes why your water may taste/smell different.  Following are possible reasons for a change in the taste/smell:

Rotten Egg (sulfur) – this odor usually comes from either the drain or the hot water tank.  If you suspect the drain, clean the drain with a diluted chlorine bleach solution or with white vinegar and this should clear up the problem.  If you suspect the hot water tank, there may be bacteria in the tank that are causing the sulfur smell.  Also, an odor coming from the hot water tank may be associated with the magnesium rod in the tank.

Musty (stagnant) – in the cold water, this is generally caused by algae growth in the source water or turnover in our reservoirs.  These events tend to be short-lived and happen in the spring or fall.  In the hot water, a musty smell can be caused by a decay in the hot water heater.  If this is the case, you can flush the hot water tank to clear up the issue.    

Chlorine – Del-Co uses chlorine as the primary disinfectant for your water, so it is normal to smell chlorine.  If you notice a difference in the chlorine smell, it is most likely due to the free chlorine being lower than the total chlorine.  Water temperature can also influence the chlorine smell, so you may notice seasonal changes.    

Copper – a copper taste is caused by the deterioration of the inside of copper pipes.

Black Particles – usually caused by a black rubber bladder or washer in the faucet, but can also come from mineral deposits that break loose during hydrant flushing, a water main break, or routine maintenance.

White Particles – these particles can come from the dip tube in the hot water tank.  Many hot water tanks that were made during the 1990s had defective dip tubes that were made of plastic.  This plastic can deteriorate over time and show up in your tap water.

The red or pink growth is likely caused by a harmless bacterium named Serratia Marcescens.  This can grow on wet surfaces and the organisms grow rapidly together to form a ring.  Other bacteria or mold can also grow on moist surfaces and may be brown, black, or orange in color – the color depends on they type of bacteria or mold.  To control this growth, clean the area with a dilute bleach solution or white vinegar on a regular basis.

Pinhole leaks occur in copper pipes and are caused by dissimilar metals rubbing against each other.  The corrosion and resulting leak may not occur where the two metals are in contact and the corrosion can occur anywhere in the copper pipe.