Drinking Water FAQs

Link to all frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Drinking Water FAQs

Why does our tap water look cloudy?

There are many reasons for this. If there is a water main break or a fire hydrant is opened in the general area, this can speed up the flow of water through the water mains. This may cause the water to pick up naturally occurring minerals laying in the bottom of larger mains. This cloudiness usually has a brownish look to it. It usually takes several hours for this condition to go away and then the homeowner will have to clear the lines.

Another type of cloudiness looks very milky. This condition occurs mostly during the winter months. The water coming in is very cold, then gets heated in the pipes of your home. When water is heated it tries to expand and gives off oxygen. When the faucet is turned on, the oxygen comes out of the water, turning it opaque because there are so many bubbles. To observe this phenomenon, place a glass on the counter and wait a few moments. The bubbles will rise and the water will clear.

Why does my water look rusty?
Discolored water could have several causes. Throughout the distribution system you can occasionally experience reddish yellow or brown color to your water. This is usually caused by increased flow through water mains, or through your own plumbing which dislodges iron deposits. This can be caused by any of the following reasons:

  • A hydrant in your neighborhood recently being used for construction or to fight a house fire or to flush hydrants in your area for routine maintenance or fire flow testing by the fire department.
  • A water main break in the vicinity.
  • It could also be caused by just an overall increase in demand of the water supply throughout the system. 
If water is only looking rusty coming from certain faucets in your home and not others, or it is only present when you use hot water, it can be an issue inside your homes plumbing. You may need to consult a plumber to resolve the issue.

Though rusty water may look and taste unpleasant, it is not generally a health concern. Iron in water is not a sign of harmful bacteria or lead, which are hazards. The limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for iron in drinking water are based on aesthetics (taste, odor, color), not safety concerns. YCUA meets all drinking water standards including those set for iron.
How much fluoride is in our water?
Fluoride naturally occurs in both ground water and, to some extent, in surface waters in this area. We receive our water from Great Lakes Water Authority's water treatment plants, where fluoride is added in their treatment process to raise that level to approximately 1.0 mg/l. This is the recommended amount for fighting tooth decay.
Why do I have low water pressure in one area of my house?
This is common in older homes. Try removing the aerator from the troubled faucet and clean the screen or simply replace it with a new one.
How can I find out if there has been a violation in our public water standard?
When water quality standards have not been met, your public water system must alert and notify customers if there is a risk to their health. Your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is another way to find out about the water quality in your area, and find information regarding contaminants, possible health effects, and the water’s source.
What should I do if I want my household water tested?
The United States has one of the safest public water supplies in the world. However, if you are concerned about contaminants in your home’s water system, contact the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for drinking water sampling and testing in Michigan. Depending on how many contaminants you wish to test for, the cost of a water test can range from $15 to hundreds of dollars. Visit EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Information website if you have questions on testing methods.
There is a boil water advisory, what does this mean?

If your local health officials issue a boil water advisory, you should use bottled water or boil tap water. This is because a boil water advisory means your community’s water has, or could have, germs that can make you sick.

Advisories may include information about preparing food, drinks, or ice; dishwashing; and hygiene, such as brushing teeth and bathing.  Additional boil water information can be found at CDC Boil Water Advisory Guidelines.