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Sweetwater Authority takes pride in consistently delivering water that not only meets, but exceeds federal and state water quality standards. Occasionally, however, certain occurrences within the Authority’s water sources or distribution system can affect water color, taste and odor.
In most cases, yes. If water appears brown or yellow, it usually means a change in water flow has caused some of the naturally-occurring mineral sediments (mainly iron and manganese) which may accumulate inside of the pipeline, to get stirred up or break free. Inside your home, you may also notice an accumulation of mineral sediment in your toilets over time.
When a slight yellow/greenish tint is observed when filling a white sink or bathtub, but is not apparent in a glass of water, the observed tint may be due to naturally occurring color from Sweetwater Reservoir. Our water treatment processes are able to remove most, but not all natural color from the water.
If the water has an unusual color (not described above), please do not drink or use the water. Call 619-420-1413 for emergency assistance. There may be a chemical backflow in your water service.
Try running the water at an outside hose bib for several minutes to flush the line between your meter and house. Once the water has cleared entering your home, the next step is to run the faucets inside your home for several minutes to remove any remaining discolored water.
We recommend monitoring water quality (color) prior to starting laundry to avoid potential stains. If your laundry has been stained as a result of discolored water please contact us at 619-420-1413 for further assistance.
Cloudy water is usually caused by air trapped in the water lines. Pour water into a pitcher or glass, and let sit for a few minutes. The water should become clear. If it does, the water is safe for all uses.
There are two common reasons for water to taste or smell unusual. One is from chlorine, used to kill germs in the water, and the other is from algae, which commonly grows in surface water reservoirs, including Sweetwater Reservoir. Algae occurrences are seasonal and usually happen during warm summer months. Taste and odors caused by algae are typically described as grassy, musty and earthy.
If the water has a "chemical" smell, or if it smells like sewage, it could indicate a dangerous backflow condition. Do not drink or use the water. Call 619-420-1413 for emergency assistance.