Common Water Problems

Taste or Odor Problems

It is often difficult to isolate the cause of taste or odor problems. If you experience objectionable tastes or odors, please contact the water plant at 782-1886. A representative from the water plant may want to collect a sample.

  • When did you first notice the problem (time of day)?
  • Is the problem with both the hot and cold water?
  • Have you installed a new water heater recently (within the past year)?

Rusty Water

Rusty water is safe to drink, but is objectionable because it discolors laundry and affects the flavor of some beverages (such as tea and coffee). Usually, problems with rusty water are caused by some sort of disturbance in the distribution system. If you experience rusty water, try to avoid using any water. That way, you limit the amount of rust you pull inside your plumbing system. Postpone doing laundry until after the problem clears up. If you have already done laundry and it is stained, do not dry it! The water plant has a product available that may remove stains. When you experience rusty water, please contact the water plant at 419-782-1886. Have the following information ready when you call:

  • When did you first notice the problem (time of day)?
  • Is the problem with both the hot and cold water?
  • Are you aware if any of your neighbors are experiencing the same problem?
  • Are you aware of any construction work occurring in your area.

Low Pressure

If you notice lower than normal water pressure, please contact the water plant at 782-1886. Try to have the following information ready when you call:

  • How long have you experienced this problem?
  • Have you had any plumbing work done lately? (If you have, and the problem is isolated to a single faucet, check the aerator for debris.

No Water

The most common reason for being without water is due to a water main break. However, anytime you are without water and don't know why, please contact the water plant. Be ready to answer the following questions:

  • When did you first experience this problem?
  • Do you live in a apartment? If so, you should contact the manager to learn if they are doing any plumbing work within the facility.
  • Are you aware if any of your neighbors have the same problem?

Sediment - Discoloration

Usually caused by small particles from existing plumbing or hot water heaters, dislodged due to rapid changes in pressure or flow. Also see Rusty Water.

Resolution: Symptoms can be resolved by flushing water lines (faucets) and flushing hot water heaters. There is a possibility that old water lines and/or the water heater may need to be replaced. If symptoms persist, collect a sample of the sediment for analysis to determine the origin.

Black Algae

This concern is due to leaking kitchen or bathroom fixtures which leave standing water or moist surfaces. When this happens, the chlorine dissipates from the water and algae growth results from spores in the air.

Resolution: The algae can be eliminated with common household bleach in a spray bottle. Toilets with algae "rings" can be treated the same way or a toilet bowl cleaner containing chlorine is effective in removing the algae. When using the spray bottle, particular attention should be taken to get the chlorine bleach solution up into the faucet/aerator and into the flush opening under the commode lid to insure a good kill of the algae/fungus.

Water Leak

The City is responsible for leaks in the distribution system. Customers are responsible for any problems beginning at the curb stop (valve where your pipes connect to the main). If you suspect a water main is broken in the distribution system, contact the water plant at 782-1886. Please provide as exact of a location as possible.

See: Leak Detection and Repair under Water Tips page.

Milky Water

The most probable cause of milky water is air in the water lines. This may be caused by water main repair, low pressure, temperature changes, or overheating of water in the hot water heater.

Resolution: This concern can be resolved by either the customer flushing their water lines (faucets) and/or the city flushing the water main. Check the setting of the hot water heater thermostat and measure the water temperature. Normal setting should be below 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure that the pressure/temperature relief valve on the hot water heater is functioning properly.

Water Softeners

Water softeners can sometimes cause more concerns than they cure. If not properly installed and maintained, water softeners can cause taste, odor, sediment, or other problems. There are a variety of softeners that can eliminate chlorine and minerals from the water while adding sodium to an already stable drinking water. Destabilization of the water can cause increased corrosion in the plumbing system.

Resolution: If a water softener has been installed, test the water quality before and after the unit to make sure that it is operating correctly. Ensure that the unit is serviced and maintained regularly.