Consumer Confidence Report Water Quality Report-2017-ENG - Page 7

Backflow Prevention When you turn on the faucet you expect the water to be as safe as it was when it left the water treatment plant. However, when a backflow incident occurs, water can flow backwards into our safe drinking water. The danger comes from a cross connection, which is when a water line is in contact with a harmful substance. Examples of these hazards include secondary water sources such as water wells, hose end chemical dispensers for lawn treat- ment, a water hose in a bucket of non-potable liquid or a swimming pool, washing machines, and irrigation systems. The Arlington Water Utilities laboratory staff is available to answer your questions about water quality at 817-575-8984. Here are some answers to the most asked questions. ASK THE LAB My water sometimes appears cloudy or milky when I first turn on the tap. Why? This can be caused by tiny air bubbles that are in the water. It is common for this to happen when it’s colder outside or the water pressure changes because air becomes more soluble in water under these conditions. Once the water comes out of your tap, the water is no longer under pressure and the air comes out of solution as bubbles. Cloudy water caused by tiny air bubbles is not harmful to health. An easy way to test whether the cloudiness is caused by air bubbles is to fill a clear glass with water and let it sit on the counter for a minute. If the cloudiness clears from the bottom to the top, then you can be assured that this is air dissipating from your water. A fire hydrant on my block was open and gushing water. Why would you do that? Fortunately, keeping our precious water resource safe from contaminants such as fertilizers or household cleaners is easy. Take the following precautions: NEVER submerge hoses in buckets, pools, tubs, sewer cleanouts or sinks. DO NOT use spray attachments without a backflow prevention device, such as a hose bib vacuum breaker. The chemicals used on your lawn are toxic and can be fatal if ingested. INSTALL and TEST appropriate backflow prevention assemblies when required, such as on your irrigation system. Don’t put your neighbors or yourself at risk. If you believe you have a backflow concern and would like more information, please contact Water Resource Services at 817-459-5902 or visit Backflow Information at The practice of opening a fire hydrant and letting the water run for several minutes is known as flushing. This practice improves water quality and ensures you are getting the freshest, highest quality water to your home. Build-up of sediment can occur in mains and flushing can help minimize any discoloration or sediment in your water. If you notice sediment or discoloration in your water, try letting the tap run for several minutes. If this does not clear up the issue, please notify the water department. Why does my water smell musty sometimes? During certain times of the year, it is not uncommon to experience some taste and odor issues with your tap water. A naturally occurring compound called geosmin is produced by algae found in surface water. Extreme temperatures can kill off algae in surface water, which releases the geosmin into the water. While the taste and odor can be unpleasant, geosmin is not toxic or harmful. The water remains safe to drink. Heating the water increases the volatility of these compounds, which explains why the smell is more easily detected when you are in the shower or when water is used for hot beverages. To make the water taste better, try chilling it, adding ice cubes, a slice of lemon, or a few drops of lemon juice. And remember that the change in taste and odor is only temporary. 7