Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do I need to know where my inside shut-off valve is?
It is important that you know where your inside shut-off valve is so in case there is a leak or break in your plumbing system, you will be able to turn the water off quickly. Shut-off valves are typically located in a crawl space, basement, or at least the bottom floor of the building. If you are unable to locate it, please call our business office and they will assist you.
2. How “hard” is Ross County Water water?
Hardness in drinking water is caused by two nontoxic chemicals – usually called minerals – calcium and magnesium. If either of these minerals is present in your water in substantial amounts, the water is said to be hard because making a lather or suds for washing is ”hard” to do. Thus, cleaning with hard water is difficult. Water containing little calcium or magnesium is called soft water. While there is no well-defined distinction between hard water and soft water it is generally thought that hardness values of less than 75 milligrams per liter (mg/L) represent soft water and values above 150 mg/L represent hard water. Our raw water from the Teays Aquifer ranges from 400-440 mg/L. We purchase approximately 4,000 tons of salt to soften our water during the treatment process. After treatment your water ranges from 120-140 mg/L.
3. I live in an apartment and my water bill is included in my rent. How can I receive information concerning my tap water?
Ross County Water Company makes a good faith effort to reach consumers who do not receive water bills. Our consumers are notified by:
- Posting our Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) on the internet
- Newspaper Advertisements on CCR Availability
- Circulation of the CCR to prominent locations throughout our distribution system to display and hand out
- Circulation of the CCR to apartment building managers to distribute to each resident
- Displayed by Cashier Counter within our business office for pick up
4. Is it safe to drink water from a garden hose?
The water is safe before it enters the hose, but a garden hose is treated with special chemicals to make it flexible. Those chemicals are not good for you and neither are the germs that may be growing inside the hose.
5. How are bacteria that can make people sick kept out of drinking water?
Chlorine is added to our water for disinfection. The use of chlorine is the most common disinfection technique nationally. To protect against microbial contamination, a disinfectant must be used that maintains a residual (does not disappear). Chlorine is the only well understood disinfectant that maintains a residual. A small residual amount of chlorine is left our water to maintain quality as it travels through the distribution system to our customers. Chlorine levels are checked daily to ensure that water supplies remain safe.
6. Is the amount of chemicals found in the drinking water harmful?
No. The treated water delivered to our customers meets or exceeds all state and federal water quality regulations and is continually tested to assure its safety. USEPA requires public water suppliers to provide consumer confidence reports (CCR) to their customers. These reports are also known as annual water quality reports or drinking water quality reports. The reports are due to customers by July 1st of each year. The CCR is a general overall overview of the water quality delivered by your community water system. This report lists the level or range of levels of any regulated contaminants detected in the treated water for the preceding calendar year as well as EPA’s health-based standard (maximum contaminant level) for comparisons. Our treated water consistently compares favorably to the EPA standards.
7. Is water with chlorine in it safe to drink?
Yes. Many tests have shown that the amount of chlorine found in treated water is safe to drink, although some people object to the taste. NOTE: even in the correct amounts the disinfectant chlorine in drinking water makes the water unsuitable for use in kidney dialysis machines or aquariums
8. Is the fluoride in my drinking water safe?
Yes. Extensive research conducted over the past 50 years has demonstrated that correct amounts of fluoride added or naturally present in drinking water is safe to drink and an effective way to reduce the incidence of tooth decay in a community.
9. Who makes the rules and regulations for drinking water?
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 (USEPA). Within the USEPA, the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water administers the drinking water program under the Public Water Supply Supervision Program. One of their main functions is setting the maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) for contaminants in drinking water and setting other requirements to ensure that drinking water is safe. USEPA delegates primary enforcement responsibilities to each individual state. Many states have established their own standards, which must be at least as stringent as the federal standards.
10. Why does tap water sometimes look milky or opaque?
The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to the gas bubbles in carbonated soft drinks. After a while, the bubbles rise to the top and are gone. You can identify the problem as air by filling a glass with water. If the cloudiness rises from the bottom to the top of the glass, it is most likely air. This air is caused by seasonal temperature changes in the water.
11. Can I store drinking water indefinitely and it continue to be safe to drink?
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 water the bacteria may continue to grow once the disinfectant has dissipated. Some experts believe that water could be stored up to six months before needing to be replaced. Refrigeration will help slow the bacterial growth.
12. Is it okay to use water from the hot water tap for drinking, cooking, or making baby formula?
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 dissolve more rapidly in hot water than cold water causing the amount of impurities to be higher in hot water.
13. Do I need to treat the tap water in any way before I place fish in an aquarium?
Ross County Water Company uses chlorine for disinfection purposes, which can be harmful to fish if not dechlorinated prior to placing fish in it. Chemical additives for dechlorinating water for use in fish tanks or ponds are available at pet/fish supply stores.
14. Why is my water bill so high?
A leak somewhere on the customer’s piping is the most common reason for a high water bill. Changes in consumption pattern due to additional occupants or visitors in the home as well as seasonal demands should also be considered. For assistance in checking for a leak click here: detecting leaks.
15. Does Ross County Water Company Recommend Customer Installation of a Pressure Reducing Valve and Thermal Expansion Tank?
Ross County Water Company, Inc. does not assume the responsibility of inspecting the customer’s piping or apparatus on the discharge side of the meter save and except the required Ohio Environmental Protection Agency cross connection inspection; and will not be responsible therefore. We do strongly recommend, however, for your own protection that a pressure reducing valve (PRV) and thermal expansion tank be installed on your service line. A PRV is designed to keep water pressure to a manageable level for your home plumbing system in order to prevent leaks and breaks caused by periods of high pressure. The purpose of a thermal expansion tank is to protect household plumbing in the event of a pressure increase brought about by the heating of water in a hot water tank. It may be prudent to consult with a licensed plumber regarding any questions you may have about these devices and the protection they provide.