This page was printed from : http://www.palmcoastgov.com/government/utility/faq
- Why is my water green or yellow?
- The City of Palm Coast Utility Department utilizes 2 different treatment processes to treat the water for the Palm Coast community, lime softening and low pressure reverse osmosis. Both treatment processes remove some of the color but some remains. The treatment process removes approximately 75% of the calcium and some of the color. The finished water averages about 10 color units (the secondary standard for color is 15 units). This color is most noticeable in a large volume with a light colored background such as a toilet, tub or pool. The Utility Department attempts to minimize the color in the finished water by optimizing the treatment process, but during drought and high demand periods higher color levels are unavoidable. The color in our drinking water is not a health hazard – it is strictly an aesthetic issue. The potable water serving the Palm Coast community meets all applicable Federal and State standards for drinking water and is perfectly safe to drink.
- Is the water safe to drink?
- Yes the water meets all of the standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
- Is the water safe for pets and fish?
- Our water is safe for all pets to drink except for fish, reptiles and amphibians that live in water. Animals that live in water take water directly into their bloodstream through their gills. For this reason, the disinfectant must be removed before adding water to fish bowls and aquariums. Consult your local pet store for the appropriate neutralizing chemical. Ensure that the product says that it will neutralize "Chloramines" and "Chlorine".
- Is orthophosphate safe in my drinking water?
- Yes, orthophosphate is a commonly used corrosion control treatment and is safe in drinking water. In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated orthophosphate treatment as the optimal corrosion control treatment for reducing the presence of lead in drinking water. Orthophosphate is a food-grade chemical and is generally recognized as safe by the Food and Drug Administration and the EPA. DC Water has set strict target levels for orthophosphate in the water distribution system and routinely samples and tests water to ensure levels meet EPA standards.
- What is the hardness of my drinking water?
- The average hardness of the drinking water in Palm Coast is about 100 mg/L (or expressed in different units, about 6 grains per gallon). In Palm Coast since the water is soft, dish washing and clothes washing require less detergent that in cities that have hard water. Soft water is 100mg/L or less. Hard water is 200 mg/L or more.
- Does the City add fluoride to the drinking water?
- No the City does not add fluoride to the water. There are very low levels of fluoride that are naturally present in Palm Coast drinking water. The average amount of fluoride in our water is about 0.061mg/L (almost non–detectable). This is well below the maximum limit of 4.0mg/L
- Do I need to use a fluoride supplement?
- The trace amount (0.061 mg/L) of fluoride that is present in Palm Coast drinking water is considered inadequate for dental protection purposes. Individuals must provide their own supplements if they so desire. It is suggested that you consult your dentist.
- Disinfection: Why do we use Monochloramine? (Not Chlorine)
- Monochloramine is a compound that uses both chlorine and ammonia. This disinfectant is used so that the chlorine does not react with certain organic material that occurs naturally in almost all ground water. A compound called Trihalomethane is formed as a result of these organic materials reacting with free chlorine. The ammonia is added to react with the chlorine so the chlorine does not react with the organic material. The city also temporarily changes the disinfection treatment procedure to free chlorine three times a year. This conversion to chlorine (which is a stronger disinfectant) from chloramines (which is a longer lasting disinfectant) allows us to perform a water distribution system purge as recommended by the Department of Environmental Protection for water utilities using chloramines as their primary disinfectant. After this process is completed, we will revert to disinfection by the chloramines method. During this period, customers may experience a slight increase in the taste and odor of chlorine.
- What can I do if my water smells and tastes like chlorine?
- The City of Palm Coast disinfects the drinking water with chloramines to ensure protection against contaminates throughout the distribution system. The City routinely collects bacteriologic samples throughout the city to ensure the water is safe and chlorine and pH levels are at our target level. However, at times customers may notice an increase in chlorine taste and odor. A chlorine odor is often an indicator that the disinfectant is effectively working to remove bacteria.
- Why does my water from the tap smell like rotten eggs?
An odor from your tap is commonly from the sink drain and not the water. The plumbing beneath your sink, typically the u-shape pipe, can collect debris over time and create an odor at your tap. If you smell an odor, fill a clean glass halfway with tap water and smell the water in a separate room or outdoors. If the odor is no longer present, the odor is likely from the plumbing beneath your sink. If the smell is still present it may be your hot water heater.
Single handle water faucets are typically being used in these situations and are not being fully turned on the cold position. This can occur when a water heater is too large for amount of hot water typically used or may be stale water. This happens in homes that are left vacant for a long period of time. Flush lines to bring in fresh water and total chlorine residual. Heating the water can liberate hydrogen. If there are any sulfur compounds available, the result would be the formation of Hydrogen Sulfide, a rotten egg odor causing gas.
In addition, sulfur reducing bacteria can liberate hydrogen sulfide and cause black water. A solution is to increase the temperature of the hot water heater temporarily to above 160 degrees. This will destroy the sulfur bacteria. The normal temperature for hot water heaters is 120 °-125°
- What causes the water to stain my clothes?
- Stains can be caused by corrosion products from the distribution system or household plumbing, old hot water heaters or washing machines or the type of detergent or bleach used. This condition can often be solved by simply flushing the water lines or water heater, or changing the type of detergent or bleach used.
- Why are my ice cubes cloudy or why are there particles in my water from my ice cubes?
- Entrained air can cause cloudy ice cubes. The cubes freeze, causing the air not to have time to dissipate. The particles are calcium carbonate that came out of solution due to the freezing process and settle to the bottom of the glass. This is normal and not harmful in any way.
- Why is there orange or pink material in both shower and bath?
- Pink residue is less likely a problem associated with water quality than with naturally occurring airborne bacteria, and also affected by the home owner's cleaning habits. The bacteria produces a pinkish film, and sometimes a dark gray film, on surfaces that are regularly moist, including shower heads, toilet bowls, bathtubs sink drains and tile. Short of buying pink fixtures, try to keep the problem areas as dry as possible. Don't close shower doors. Don't allow the shower curtain to stay folded over. Don't let water stand around the drains of the sink or bathtub. Keep the bathroom well ventilated. Yet, be aware that the film will most likely return in anywhere from a week to three months. Once the pink development begins it's very difficult to eradicate completely.
- Sometimes my water looks milky. Is it still safe to drink?
- In a drinking water system, the water travels under pressure. Occasionally, during maintenance work, air may become trapped inside these pipes and when the pipe is returned to service, the water pressure causes the air to dissolve into the water. Then, when the water comes out of the tap, it is no longer under pressure and the air that was dissolved in the water, comes out of solution forming very tiny bubbles. This causes the water to look milky. When poured into a glass, the milky water will start to clear from the bottom up - with the clear water slowly moving upward. Often, when the water is clearing, the water will effervesce like pop. Usually this milky appearance is only temporary and the water will soon return to normal. The water is still safe to drink.
- Dishwasher Problems? Staining or etching of dishes, glasses or silverware?
Etching is caused by overuse of dish washing detergents on pre – rinsed glasses / dishes. The recommendation is to use the proper amount of detergent for our hardness level (approximately 6 grains per gallon), use a different product, or use a drying agent such as Jet Dry.
If you have staining or corrosion problems on your silverware, try separating the knives from other silverware. Some knives have a high carbon content and will develop surface rust or can cause surface rust on other utensils. Always hand wash and dry, fine china, and real silverware.
- Why does my toilet bowl have a black ring around it? / What is that black slimy stuff in my kitchen/bathroom faucets?
This is usually mold, mildew or mineral deposits at the water / air interface. Bacteria, fungus and mold spores normally found in the air can cause rings in your toilet bowl. Wet surfaces provide ideal conditions, and the organisms reproduce rapidly, growing together to form a ring. The color of the ring depends on the species of bacteria, mold or fungus. Another possibility may be your washers and flappers inside the toilet tank are breaking down from the chlorine causing the black coming off your flapper to stain your toilet. You can easily remove the rings with a toilet bowl brush and household cleaners. Close the toilet lid to reduce the number of spores and reduce the light needed for growth. The recommendation is to clean with bleach or a cleaning product such as CLR.
The older faucets use a generic black rubber washers called buna-n to keep them from dripping and or leaking. If you take one apart and take out the washer you can actually get the black stuff from the rubber on your hands. This is what was used for many years and may still be used today in some faucets. If you have the old black rubber washers, replace them with a red rubber/neoprene type washer. Disintegration is often caused by disinfectants used in the City's water supply.
- Why do we use Corrosion Inhibitors?
- To preclude the leaching of certain metals into the water - particularly lead, copper and iron.
- Does the City test for lead in the drinking water?
- The simple answer is yes. Both lead and copper are materials that are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and those agencies dictate the method and frequency of that testing. Lead and copper can enter the drinking water, not only from the source, but can leach from the homeowner’s own plumbing and fixtures. Through its testing processes, the utility must demonstrate that its water is stable and does not promote leaching of these materials into the water from household plumbing systems. The treatment processes utilized in Palm Coast do produce drinking water that is stable and all of the sample results taken for lead and copper from the water treatment facilities in Palm Coast have historically been below the minimum laboratory detection limit. In other words, are well within accepted safe levels for drinking water.
- Why are there white eggshell like particles clogging my faucet aerators?
- This problem may be coming from your hot water heater. The plastic dip tubes in water heaters often disintegrate with pieces going through the plumbing and being trapped in faucet aerators. The defective dip tubes tend to crumble and disintegrate into the tank. Over time, the water's acidity levels and the temperature settings on the water heater can have an effect on the rate at which these particular tubes fall apart, scattering white plastic particles into your water supply. Call a licensed plumber to investigate the problem.
- Why do I sometimes see technicians flushing fire hydrants?
Palm Coast water quality technicians regularly flushes fire hydrants throughout the distribution system to test chlorine and pH levels. When the City is "flushing" the water lines you may see a fire hydrant wide-open allowing water to flow down the street. This process moves water through the pipelines at a fast enough rate to clean the lines, clear stagnant water, and ensure the water the City delivers to your home is of the highest quality. If you watch our technicians flush, you notice it comes out of a hydrant all at once, and the water may initially look discolored but the water clears up rather quickly.
We appreciate concerns raised by our residents who call about what may be perceived as "wasting water," but rest assured we flush the lines because it is a necessary part of protecting our public health.
- Does the City maintain the fire hydrants?
- Palm Coast does hydrant maintenance regularly on all the fire hydrants throughout the City, and flushes hydrants to ensure that all fire hydrants are working properly and serviced. When performing maintenance very little water is flowing so the possibility of water discoloration is slight but possible.
- What is corrosion control treatment?
- Corrosion control treatment is a treatment technique used to prevent pipe corrosion and the presence of metals in drinking water. Drinking water treatment plants, such as the City of Palm Coast, use corrosion control treatment before water leaves the treatment plant. The City adds orthophosphate to prevent corrosion of pipes in the distribution system and in your home. Orthophosphate creates a thin protective coating inside pipes and plumbing fixtures and is very effective in reducing the presence of lead and other metals in the city's water.
- Does the city sample the drinking water?
- Yes, the City of Palm Coast takes bacteriological samples twice a month to ensure safe drinking water. We also have two water quality technicians that flush dead end water mains to check chlorine and ph. levels daily to ensure water quality.
- Is bottled water safer than tap water?
Not necessarily. Check the bottled water label or contact the bottled water supplier for test results on their product. Under special circumstances, such as during an emergency, bottled water can be a good choice. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates public water systems. As shown in our Water Quality Report, the City's water supply meets all federal and state EPA drinking water standards. Bottled water must comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations. Most required monitoring under the FDA regulations is not as frequent as the monitoring done on City's water under EPA regulations.
Depending on the source of the water and the treatment process, some bottled waters may contain more or less amounts of substances than tap water. Some studies have shown that microbial growth may occur in bottled water during storage due to the lack of residual disinfectant. The City of Palm Coast combines chlorine and ammonia to form chloramines to its system to control microbial growth. This year Aquafina will begin stating on labels that its H2O comes from public water sources. And Nestlé Pure Life bottles will indicate whether the water comes from public, private or deep well sources. Dasani acknowledges on its website, but not on the label itself, that it draws from local water.
- Why did I get a Water System Maintenance Notice "Green Tag" on my door?
- When part of the water system has a specified loss in pressure because of a main break or water problem, the Department of health recommends issuing a precautionary boil water advisory to all affected customers. It usually takes us about 24-48 hours to fix main breaks and analyze water samples. We will notify you with rescind notice to let you know it's safe to drink the water. A new door tag will be issued if the notice continues longer than 48 hours.
- I've been approached by someone telling me I need a home water treatment system or filter for my drinking water. Do I need this?
- Your city's water supply meets or exceeds all federal, state and local drinking water standards. Click here for more information on home water treatment system sale scams.