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Drinking Water Quality FAQs

Why is there chlorine in my drinking water?

In an effort to provide you with the safest and highest quality drinking water, Simpson County Water District, in conjunction with White House Utility District, uses chlorine as a safe and effective disinfectant to ensure the elimination of microorganisms in your water.

Is the fluoride safe to drink in my water?

The small amount of fluoride added to the water for improving dental health is entirely safe to consume.

Why does my tap water look milky sometimes?

The milky look in water typically occurs when the water supplied to your house is colder than the inside of your house. Cold water holds more oxygen than warm water, and when cold water enters a warm environment, it releases oxygen in the form of tiny bubbles that give the water a momentary milky look until the water adjusts temperatures.

Are there any contaminants in my drinking water?

All drinking water, including bottled water, contains minuscule amounts of contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not actually pose risks to your health.

Why does my water have a strong smell sometimes?

During certain times of the year, you may notice your water has a peculiar smell. The odor results from the turning of Old Hickory Lake. As temperatures change, organic materials (leaves, soil, etc.) at the bottom of the lake rise and are in the water at more-than-normal levels. These materials continue their natural decomposition and let off a strong smell. Although the water is treated to alleviate some of the odor, sometimes the scent remains. However, the water remains entirely safe to drink, and fortunately this small inconvenience is short-lived.

How hard is my water?

The natural presence of minerals in water, particularly calcium and magnesium, can cause it to become ‘hard.’ The more minerals there are in the water, the ‘harder’ it will become. Water with less than 4 grains per gallon is considered to be ‘soft,’ anything between 4 and 7 is considered ‘medium-hard,’ and anything beyond 7 grains per gallon is considered ‘hard.’ Simpson’s water has an average hardness of 4.8 grains.

How can I get more information on lead and drinking water?

Please visit the lead information section for more information about lead and drinking water.

What are disinfection byproducts (DBPs)?

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) form when chlorine and other disinfectants react with naturally occurring materials.

The term “disinfection byproducts” covers a host of compounds that may be formed after water is treated. Depending on the substances present in the water, a wide range of byproducts may be created. But the only reliable approach to protecting against bacteria in drinking water is to add a disinfectant, which must travel with the water, in small amounts, all the way to your tap.  Any disinfectant creates disinfection byproducts. There is little evidence that these chemicals are dangerous at the level they occur in treated water, but research on the potential effects of specific compounds raised concerns with the EPA.

Like many problems, there is no easy answer. As the EPA report says, “Decreasing disinfection byproduct risk could increase risks from disease-causing microorganisms.” The paradox is as old as the use of fire to keep warm: It keeps you from freezing, but it also produces ash and carbon monoxide.

The treatment process is critical to controlling the formation of haloacetic acids in water. Simpson Water works with our water supplier, Whitehouse Utility District, to maintain disinfection byproducts levels below EPA requirements. While these improvements will take time, Simpson Water will continue to optimize our system performance. Simpson Water continually performs numerous tests to ensure your drinking water is safe. Simpson Water tests the purity of the water over 1,000 times a year to ensure the safety of your drinking water.

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