Where does my water come from?
The source of 99% of the water for our customers is the Floridan Aquifer. The Floridan aquifer is hundreds of feet underground and confined by a thick layer of clay. Geologists have estimated that the water enters the aquifer around the fall line (a geological feature where the coastal plane gives way to higher elevations, roughly on a line between Macon and Augusta), and that the water we are consuming could have entered the aquifer a thousand years ago. The Floridan aquifer is constantly recharging, as more water enters the aquifer, replacing the water that is pumped out. Water that is not pumped out, continues a slow migration to the South and East, eventually discharging under the Atlantic Ocean.
The water in the aquifer is characterized as “groundwater.” Groundwater in general, and Floridan aquifer water in particular is some of the cleanest on earth due to its age, and also due to the natural filtration process that occurs as the water seeps through various levels of the earth before entering the aquifer. Treatment plants that treat surface water (from lakes and streams) use an artificial replication of this filtration process to make their water clean enough to drink. The filtered groundwater is very clear and clean, but has a high mineral content, as many minerals dissolve themselves in water. The water is tested regularly to ensure all the mineral levels are safe to drink. The water in the aquifer is protected from outside impurities, because the aquifer is confined by a thick layer of clay. To comply with regulations, and to ensure the clean water stays clean all the way to your home, we add chlorine to the water.
Why does my drinking water look cloudy sometimes?
Once in a while, you get a glass of water and it looks cloudy; maybe milky is a better term. After a few seconds it miraculously clears up! The cloudiness might be caused by the water in the pipes being under a bit more pressure than the water in the glass, but is more likely due to tiny air bubbles in the water. Like any bubble, the air rises to the top of the water and goes into the air above, clearing up the water. Cloudy water, also known as white water, is caused by air bubbles in the water. It is completely harmless.
It usually happens when it is very cold outside because the solubility of air in water increases as water pressure increases and/or water temperature decreases. Cold water holds more air than warm water. In the winter, water travels from the reservoir which is very cold and warms up during its travel to your tap. Some of the air that is present is no longer soluble, and comes out of solution.
Also, water pressure has something to do with it. The water in the pipes is pressurized to a degree (which helps to get the water all the way from the water tower to your home). Water under pressure holds more air than water that is not pressurized. Once the water comes out of your tap, the water is no longer under pressure and the air comes out of solution as bubbles (similar to a carbonated soft drink). The best thing to do is let it sit in an open container until the bubbles naturally disappear.
How do I know my water is safe?
To ensure your water complies with the Safe Drinking Water Act, each community water system operates under a permit. Each permit is issued and overseen by the State of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD). The EPD requires screening for contaminants, radiation, bacteria, and other regulated properties. These requirements are more stringent than those the FDA puts on bottled water.
We conduct laboratory tests of the water every month, and we publish a summary of all the test results annually, called a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). CCRs are available through this website -click on your water system on the Interactive Map , to download a .pdf.
Why does my water sometimes smell like eggs?
Water is a ‘Universal Solvent’. As groundwater filters through the earth, and as it flows in the aquifer, it dissolves minerals. Sulfur is a mineral contained naturally in the aquifer, and it gives the water that ‘egg’ smell. It is entirely safe to drink and use, but it can be unpleasant. Luckily, the chlorination that we add to the water often masks the taste and smell of the sulfur. If your water tastes or smells like sulfur and you don’t like it, give our office a call and we will send someone to increase the chlorine in the water, and flush the water mains if necessary.
Do I have "Hard Water"?
Water is a ‘Universal Solvent’. As groundwater filters through the earth, and as it flows in the aquifer, it dissolves minerals. Because the aquifer is primarily made of limestone, a lot of calcium dissolves into the water. ‘Hardness’ is a measure of calcium and manganese dissolved in the water. The water from the Floridan Aquifer is hard water. Hard water is not dangerous, and has no adverse health effects. It does, however, create limescale, or the white residue that dries on wet surfaces, and sometimes coats or clogs plumbing fixtures. Hardness (calcium) can be removed with an in-home water softener, and some people prefer softer water. Otherwise, fixtures can be cleaned with over-the-counter products to minimize the effects of hardness. Sometimes the calcium builds up in pipes and fixtures (especially water heaters) and can settle out of the water like sand. The sediment is easily removed by periodic flushing and cleaning.
What if there is sediment in my water?
Water is a ‘Universal Solvent’. As groundwater filters through the earth, and as it flows in the aquifer, it dissolves minerals. Because the aquifer is primarily made of limestone, a lot of calcium dissolves into the water. Sometimes the calcium builds up in pipes and fixtures (especially water heaters) and can settle out of the water like sand. The sediment is easily removed by periodic flushing and cleaning. If you have questions, or cannot resolve this on your own, please call our office and we will send a technician to investigate and to flush water mains as necessary.
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