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That brownish or reddish color is caused by accumulated rust and sediment that is released in the water delivery system, which can be caused by the following:
Plumbing fixtures and water delivery pipelines - Your water contains naturally occurring minerals. Overtime, those minerals will accumulate and deposit on plumbing fixtures and water delivery pipelines. If you notice the discoloration first thing in the morning, run the water for a few minutes to see if the brown or red color clears. If the water starts running clear, it is likely within your home or business plumbing fixtures. If you see Valley County Water District working nearby your home or business, it is possible that the water system repairs being completed may have caused some of the water delivery pipeline sediment to become disturbed. This type of disturbance usually lasts between two and four hours. Although the color is not appeasing or pleasant, the water is completely safe to drink.
Water supplies being served - Your water is supplied from four active groundwater production wells. If there is an unforeseen emergency or if Valley County Water District is required to obtain water from an imported water supply, the water chemistry of the imported water supply may be different than what is typically produced by Valley County Water District from the groundwater production wells. This may cause the water to scour the accumulated rust and sediment in the pipeline delivery system and may give the water a brown or red color. Although the color is not appeasing or pleasant, the water is completely safe to drink. Click Here for More Information on Water Discoloration This handout is also available in Spanish.
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Your water meets and exceeds the drinking water standards of both the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). All collected water samples are taken to a State-certified laboratory for analysis. In most cases, water provided from your tap is better than bottled water bought at the store. Bottled water distributors are not regulated by the SWRCB or the USEPA to meet drinking water standards. For specific additional information about the quality of water delivered to your tap, please see the Valley County Water District Annual Newsletter and Consumer Confidence Report.
Don’t worry! The water is completely safe to drink. The milky appearance of your water is caused by air that has been entrapped in the liquid as a result of being under pressure during the water production and delivery process. The air begins to dissipate in the form of tiny bubbles, giving the water a white or "milky" appearance. Once all of the bubbles dissolve, the water will be clear in color. The best way to test this is to fill up a clear glass and set it on your countertop. Watch as the white color begins to clear from the bottom of the glass first. Within a few seconds the bubbles will be gone and you will be left with a clear glass of water. Click Here for More Information on Water Discoloration. This handout is also available in Spanish.
Chlorine is added to the water for your protection. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires Valley County Water District to add a slight dose of sodium hypochlorite, or chlorine, to disinfect the water after it has been treated and filtered. The chlorine is added to the water through metering pumps and is dosed at approximately ½ of 1 part per million, which is equivalent to ⅔ of a cup of liquid in a standard 20,000-gallon swimming pool. Even at this small amount, chlorine has a very important job - it protects the water from bacteria and viruses. When it comes in contact with any bacteria it immediately attacks and destroys it. By dosing the water with chlorine, Valley County Water District knows that the water provided to your home or business is safe for you and your family to drink.
The white film is caused by calcium in the tap water. Calcium is not harmful to you. It is one of the naturally occurring minerals in your tap water. By using a little vinegar in your dishwasher, it will prevent the calcium scale from drying onto your dishes, glasses, and cookware. For stained pots and pans, simply hand-wash them with soap, water, and a sponge or scouring pad.
Occasionally, you may find white flakes resembling tiny pieces of broken egg shells in filter screens on sink faucets or shower heads. These particles are typically pieces of plastic originating from the home or business hot water heater. These particles are non-toxic and do not make the water toxic.
Valley County Water District is committed to providing you with all available information pertaining to the quality of water we serve to you and your family. If you have additional questions, please contact the Water Quality Specialist at 626-338-7301 or email our office.