Water Quality FAQ

Why is my water brown or discolored?

Brown or discolored water is typically this caused by incidents such as a main leak or break, or maintenance being performed such as hydrant flushing. The discoloration is generally caused by high levels of naturally occurring minerals in the water and a buildup of harmless sediment. Please go to the Outages & Alerts map to find out about the work happening in your area. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact our Customer Service Center at (800) 422-5987.

How do I dispose of my unused medication?

Proper disposal of unused or expired medications is important to our environment as well as reducing the risk of their misuse. Do not put your medication down the drain, as it is a pollutant. Visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for more information on drug buy-back programs and instructions on proper disposal.

How does a wastewater treatment plant work?

Wastewater treatment usually takes place in two steps. Primary treatment removes 40-50% of the solids. Afterwards, secondary treatment completes the process, removing 85-90% of the pollutants. First, a wastewater treatment plant removes solids. This includes everything from sand, sticks, rags and smaller particles found in wastewater. From there, microorganisms consume organic matter. The bacteria and microorganisms are then separated from the water. Finally, treatment processes help ensure that the water we return to our lakes or rivers has enough oxygen to support life.

How is my water treated?

comprehensively treats and tests the drinking water we provide to ensure it meets or surpasses government standards. View your annual Water Quality Report for more details.

How is wastewater regulated?

Most requirements within plants in the US are contained as part of their discharge permit. The authority for issuing these permits comes from the Federal Clean Water Act. Since 1972, every treatment plant that discharges directly into a body of water has been required to have a permit issued by an approved state agency or by the U.S. EPA.

How much of wastewater is really just water?

According to the Water Environment Association (WEF,) wastewater typically averages 99.94% water by weight; only a small 0.06% is actually waste material.

Aside from the most obvious human waste, our daily activities contribute many other water pollutants, including food particles, paper products, dirt, oil and grease, proteins, organic materials such as sugars, inorganic materials such as salts, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, cleaning chemicals, and hundreds of other chemicals.

How much wastewater do we produce?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), the average American produces 100 gallons of wastewater each day—that’s nearly 1,600 glasses of water or two full bathtubs!

How often do you flush the water lines?

Depending on your location, we flush the water lines once or twice a year.

Is my water tested?

Veolia North America operations test the water produced, as well as water in the distribution system regularly based on the federal and state regulations. This information is found in the annual Water Quality Report.

Is tap water safe to drink?

Yes. Water Utilities are required to supply the water you drink in accordance with state and federal regulations.

My water has a smell, what should I do?

Many things can affect the taste and odor of your water, ranging from the treatment process to the changing of seasons. If you are concerned that there may be an issue, we encourage you to contact our Customer Service Center at (800) 422-5987

You can also check the Outages & Alerts map regarding the quality of your water.

What can I do to help?

The most important thing you can do to help is to make sure you dispose of your waste properly. Don't pour chemicals down the drain such as solvents, pesticides, paint thinners, engine oil, or household cleaning products. Instead, take them to a recycling center or hazardous waste collection site.

What chemicals are in my water?

Veolia North America comprehensively tests the drinking water we provide to ensure it meets or surpasses government standards. Your water may contain certain chemicals based on the water source and the treatment process. View your annual Water Quality Report for more details.

Where can I find a copy of my local Water Quality Report?

Veolia North America comprehensively tests the drinking water we provide to ensure it meets or surpasses government standards. View your annual Water Quality Report for more details.

Where does my water come from?

The source of your water varies depending on your location. Go to the Water in My Area page to find out more about your water supply, including a comprehensive water quality report.

Where does wastewater come from?

Wastewater comes from human and household wastes, such as toilets, sinks, baths, and drains. It can also come from businesses such as factories, food-service operations, airports, and shopping centers.

We treat wastewater to remove impurities and chemicals so that it can be safely returned to replenish our streams, rivers and lakes. Treated wastewater is not delivered to customers as drinking water.

Whom do I contact about the quality of my water?

Please contact our Customer Service Center at (800) 422-5987 for any question about the quality of your water. You may also send us a message through our Contact Us form.

Why do you flush the water lines?

Flushing of the water mains is an important part of our routine maintenance. Utilizing the hydrants in our service territories for this process alleviates iron sediment that can accumulate over time in the water mains.