When water comes out of the faucet looking milky or cloudy, it is because air is being introduced into the water. The internal fixtures in the house should have clean and complete aerators attached. The aerator is the device at the end of the faucet, which collects debris and breaks up air bubbles. Clean and complete aerators will clear the cloudiness in the water. Air-saturated water is not harmful. A way to tell if the problem is just air is to fill a glass with water and leave it to sit for a few minutes. If the water clears from the bottom up, this is air-saturated water. If the water does not clear, call the Groundwater Resource Protection Section.

Chlorine is added to public drinking water to keep the water free of bacteria as it is delivered to our customers. Chlorine assures the water will be bacteria free as it travels through the many miles of water mains. SAWS adds approximately 1.0 part chlorine per 1million parts of water (1 PPM*) at our production facilities. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires that public water suppliers maintain a minimum of 0.2 PPM Cl2 in the water. The maximum amount of Cl2 allowed is 4 PPM. SAWS provides our customers with a safe water supply.

Hardness is defined as the concentration of calcium and magnesium in the water, which is expressed in terms of calcium carbonate. Calcium Carbonate in water from the Edwards and the Trinity Aquifers is naturally occurring. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves small amounts of minerals that make water “hard.” Hard water is not a health hazard. In fact, the National Research Council (National Academy of Sciences) states that hard drinking water generally contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium human dietary needs. The typical hardness in the water provided by SAWS ranges from 15 to 20 gpg (grains per gallon).

In an effort to reduce lead and copper levels in public drinking water supplies, the lead and copper rule was adopted by EPA on May 7, 1991. If sample monitoring indicates that lead exceeds 15 parts per billion (0.015 PPM) in 10 percent or more of the samples taken, then the water system must take a prescribed action to minimize lead contamination. Lead is not used in SAWS production facilities or distribution system. There is a concentration of 0.0015 PPM found in the water or one-tenth of the amount necessary before prescribed action is required.

*PPM – parts per million