For the most up-to-date Water Quality Reports, visit the Water Quality Reports page annually. Water Quality Reports are posted at the beginning of June for the previous year.
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Regulations are made by both federal and state agencies. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) passed by Congress in 1974 and amended in 1986 and 1996 is governed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Within the EPA, the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water administers the drinking water program under the Public Water Supply Supervision Program. Their functions include:
Provided for int he SDWA is the intent that states accept primary responsibility for enforcement of their drinking water programs. Under these provisions, each state must establish requirements for public water systems at least as stringent as those set by the EPA. In Virginia, the agency is the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
In addition to the SDWA, the EPA has promulgated several specific rules to address various types of water contaminant problems. Some of these rules are: Surface Water Treatment Rule, Total Coliform Rule, and the Lead and Copper Rule.
The water systems owned by Spotsylvania County Utilities are
Chemicals called disinfectants are added to drinking water at the treatment plants. Chloramines, the combination of ammonia and chlorine, form a stable bond that keeps a disinfectant residual throughout the entire distribution system. During the spring months, Spotsylvania County Utilities performs annual flushing with free chlorine instead of chloramines. Free chlorine is strong disinfectant that aids in the disinfection of the flushed water mains.
Annual Water Main Flushing
Water Quality Reports
For more information about Spotsylvania County Utilities water, visit: Water Quality Reports (LINK).
Substances used in vinyl garden hoses to keep them flexible can get into the water as it passes through the hose. These substances are not good for you or your pets. There are hoses made with "food grade" plastic that will not contaminate the water. Check with your local hardware or kitchen supply store for this type of hose.
Tap water must go through further treatment in order to be sued in a dialysis machine. Because the water comes into close contact with a patient’s blood, several substances like fluoride and chloramines must be removed from the water before it can be used. In general, it is the responsibility of the medical director of the dialysis unit to ensure and monitor the quality of the water used in dialysate.
Hot water generally comes from a hot water heater that may contain impurities that should not be ingested. Some of these impurities might be metals from household plumbing that are concentrated in the heating process. Additionally, these impurities from the household plumbing are absorbed more rapidly in hot water than cold water, causing the amount of impurities to be higher in hot water.
The disinfectant in drinking water will eventually dissipate even in a closed container. If that container housed bacteria prior to filling up with the tap wear, the bacteria may continue to grow once the disinfectant has dissipated. Refrigeration will help slow bacterial growth, but it will not stop it.
The chlorine in the water distributed by Spotsylvania County Utilities can be harmful to fish if not removed before placing in your aquarium. The County uses two types of chlorine: Free chlorine from March through May as part of our annual flushing program and chloramines, which is a chlorine and ammonia mixture. Consult with your local pet store on methods to remove chlorine and chloramines.
To learn more about the flushing program that takes place in the Spring, please visit the Annual Water Main Flushing Program page.
During the time of year when the water coming into the house is colder than the temperature inside the house, this phenomenon can occur. Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water does; consequently when the cold water from the water mains outside comes inside our warm homes and the water begins to warm, the oxygen has to escape. It does so through air bubbles which makes the water look milky. A visual example of this is to run water into a clear container, then the phenomenon described is occurring. The air bubbles are moving from the bottom to the top of the container to escape into the open atmosphere.
Ice cubes freeze from the outside in. Ice is formed from pure water (hydrogen and oxygen); therefore, minerals such as calcium and magnesium normally found in the water sometimes end up as visible particulates in the core of the ice cube. The white particles are not toxic.
The white residues are minerals that are found in water such as calcium. Over time and repeated water use, there may be build-up of the minerals on any item the water comes in contact with. There are commercial products that can be purchased to rid the surface of mineral build-up.
The pink/orange stains in the toilet are most likely bacteria called Serratia Marcescens. This type of bacteria is most frequently observed in toilet bowls, on surfaces in shower stalls, inside dishwashers, on tiles, in sinks, and in pet water dishes.
The bacteria will grow in any moist location where phosphorous containing materials or fatty substances accumulate. Serratia can grow in toilets where the water is left standing long enough for the chlorine residual disinfectant to dissipate. Serratia will not survive in chlorinated drinking water. To remove the bacteria in your toilets, clean them with bleach.
During this period of time, normally March through May, a slight change is made in the water treatment process in an effort to facilitate an effective flushing program. Throughout the year, chloramine (ammonia and chlorine) is added to the water as the primary disinfectant. During the Annual Water Main Flushing program in the Spring, chlorine is added in an uncombined state, commonly referred to as free chlorine. Free chlorine is a more aggressive disinfectant, and this temporary change in the water treatment process helps prevent bacteria from becoming overly resistant. Depending on your location within the distribution system and usage patterns, it could take up to a week for your drinking water to transition from combined to free chlorine at the beginning of March, or from free chlorine to combined chlorine at the beginning of June.
You may notice a chlorine taste and odor in your drinking water while free chlorine is utilized. If you are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine, try keeping an open container of drinking water in your refrigerator. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, thus reducing the chlorine taste.
To learn more, visit the Annual Water Main Flushing Program page.
The Environmental Protection Agency sets national standards to protect public health. These standards are enforced in our state by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). On a monthly and yearly basis, we submit water quality test results to VDH assuring them we are providing water that meets all safe drinking water standards. In addition, if there were ever a serious water quality problem, we would notify VDH immediately, as well as our customer, and work collaboratively with VDH to take prudent and corrective action.
Spotsylvania County Utilities consistently tests and monitors the water to make sure that it meets or exceeds the EPA’s safe drinking water standards.
A rotten egg or sulfur smell usually indicates bacteria growing in your drain or hot water heater. Disinfect the drain with a household-cleaning agent such as bleach. Next, run the cold water for a while. Fill a cup of cold water from the sink where you notice the odor, take the cup to another room to determine if you smell the odor in the cup of water. If you still detect the odor, it may be in the water heater. Most manufacturers recommend flushing their hot water heaters annually. Please check your manufacturer’s owner’s manual.
Another cause for odor is a dry trap. Water traps, sometimes called P-traps or S-traps, are commonly located near floor drains and laundry tubs and are underneath every sink in the house. They work trapping water inside the curve and blocking sewer gas from traveling back into the house. If the trap is dried out, the sewer gas has a clear path in the house. If the smell is coming from a sink, run the water for a few seconds to restore the water in the trap. If the smell is coming from a floor drain, pour a pitcher of water down the drain the restore the proper function. Traps dry out when they have not been used much, the air in the house if very dry, or there is a leak somewhere before the trap.