Water Quality FAQs

  • Q: Is fluoride added to our water?
    A: No. Over the years, our customers have let us know their wishes about adding fluoride to their drinking water, as the following timeline details: 1953: EWEB invites customers to take part in an informal vote via post card ballots. Voters reject the use of fluoride in drinking water by a slight majority. 1958: In November,...

    A: No. Over the years, our customers have let us know their wishes about adding fluoride to their drinking water, as the following timeline details:

    • 1953: EWEB invites customers to take part in an informal vote via post card ballots. Voters reject the use of fluoride in drinking water by a slight majority.
    • 1958: In November, the issue is place on the ballot. A growing majority of customers vote against fluoridation.
    • 1964: The issue returns to the ballot, and residents for the first time vote to add fluoride to the water.
    • 1965: Fluoridation opponents call for a special election. Voters reverse the decision and impose a ban on the use of fluoride in drinking water.
    • 1976: Local residents vote in favor of fluoridation in a November election.
    • 1977: Fluoridation opponents petition for a special election. Voters again reverse the decision and impose a ban on the use of fluoride in drinking water.

  • Q: Is my water hard or soft?
    A: Hardness is a way of defining the mineral content of water. "Hard water" has high mineral content. "Soft water" has low mineral content. Our water is considered soft, which means it contains small amounts of some minerals.  Learn more about EWEB water quality test results .

    A: Hardness is a way of defining the mineral content of water. "Hard water" has high mineral content. "Soft water" has low mineral content. Our water is considered soft, which means it contains small amounts of some minerals. 

    Learn more about EWEB water quality test results.


  • Q: What are the particles in my water?
    A: Particles in your drinking water might clog your faucet aerators, but particles are usually not harmful or toxic. Rust or other minerals in your home's plumbing could cause colored particles. A broken dip tube in your water heater could cause white flaky particles. To find out what kind of particles are collecting in your...

    A: Particles in your drinking water might clog your faucet aerators, but particles are usually not harmful or toxic. 

    Rust or other minerals in your home's plumbing could cause colored particles. A broken dip tube in your water heater could cause white flaky particles. To find out what kind of particles are collecting in your aerator:

    • Place the particles in vinegar overnight. 
    • Minerals will dissolve in the vinegar, plastic from a dip tube will not. 

    You should consider replacing your dip tube if plastic pieces are clogging your aerators. To replace your dip tube, follow manufacturer instructions. Plumbers can replace dip tubes and flush remaining particles out of the water heater.


  • Q: What should I do if my water isn't clear?
    A: Check out some tips on how to get rid of discolored water from your home. Here is how to flush your home's pipes: Turn on your outside hose bibs at full force one at a time for a few minutes or until the water runs clear. Start with the hose bib closest to your water meter. If the water does not clear after a few minutes,...

    A: Check out some tips on how to get rid of discolored water from your home.

    Here is how to flush your home's pipes:

    • Turn on your outside hose bibs at full force one at a time for a few minutes or until the water runs clear.  Start with the hose bib closest to your water meter.
    • If the water does not clear after a few minutes, wait an hour. Repeat the process until the water runs clear.
    • After the outside hose bibs run clear, run the cold-water faucets at full force throughout the house.
    • Start at the cold-water faucet in the bathtub because that faucet has the highest flow.
    • After the tub faucet and hose bibs run clear, flush all other cold-water faucets in the house.
    • After flushing, remove faucet aerators to clear any particles and then reinstall them.

    Get more information here.


  • Q: What should I do if my water tastes or smells bad?
    A: If your water tastes or smells of chlorine, check out some tips for removing the taste of chlorine in the water you drink. For other tastes and odors you can try the tips below. Remove and clean faucet aerators. If you have a water filter be sure to maintain it according to the manufactures guidelines. Sometimes, household...

    A: If your water tastes or smells of chlorine, check out some tips for removing the taste of chlorine in the water you drink.  For other tastes and odors you can try the tips below.

    • Remove and clean faucet aerators.
    • If you have a water filter be sure to maintain it according to the manufactures guidelines.
    • Sometimes, household odors from drains, compost buckets or new furnishings may be mistaken for odors in drinking water. Fill up a glass of water and take it outside or to another room to determine if tap water is the source of odor.   
    • If the odor is from hot water only, it might be time to do some water heater maintenance.
    • If the odor comes from cold water, the water might be sitting in pipes for a long period of time. Run water from your faucets until the water runs cold to bring in fresh water from our water main.