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It is very difficult to separate taste from odor because these two human senses are so closely related. Most occurrences of a peculiar taste or odor in the water can be grouped into one of the following three categories:
Causes of tastes or odors in water must be carefully investigated. Please be prepared to answer the following questions when reporting this problem to us at 831-475-8500:
The answers to these questions will assist us in finding the cause of the taste or odor and will also suggest corrective steps to take. A customer service representative should respond to calls regarding taste and odor within one business day.
Cloudy water could be a result of dissolved air in the water, which is a common and harmless condition. To verify this, place the cloudy water in a glass and observe whether it clears from the bottom up (you may be left with bubbles on the side of the glass and a small surface layer of bubbles). If this occurs then you have dissolved air in the water.
If the cloudy water persists, or if you are noticing unusual tastes or odors, please call 831-475-8500 and give us your address and a telephone number so we can have a customer service representative contact you.
Hard water is simply water that contains two harmless minerals - calcium and magnesium. Water is considered "hard" if it measures more than 120 parts per million or 7.0 grains per gallon.
Although hardness does not affect the safety of the water, some customers may find it to be inconvenient. The minerals may make the water hard to develop a sudsy lather. Hardness minerals may also contribute to scaling in teapots, spots on dishes and residues on plumbing fixtures and glass shower doors.
In Capitola/Soquel area, the range of water hardness is about is 140 to 360 parts per million (ppm) or 8.5 to 21 grains per gallon (gpg). In Aptos/Rio del Mar/La Selva Beach area, the range of water hardness is about 75 to 240 ppm or 5 to 14 gpg.
The white film is the residue of hardness and other minerals in the water. When the water is heated or evaporates, the minerals leave a white coating on items such as showerheads, shower doors, glasses, coffee pots, etc.
Although harmless, most people don’t appreciate a white film on these household items. Many customers install a water softener unit. In terms of cleaning hard water spots, there are several cleaning products on the market made specifically for its removal. A "green" alternative is warm vinegar. Soaking in vinegar can help dissolve the spots. Make sure you rinse the items carefully after the vinegar "bath" before using them. This method is less practical for shower doors. In the case of shower doors, prevention is the best medicine. Wipe down the doors with a sponge or towel after every shower.
There is naturally-occurring fluoride groundwater. In the Capitola-Soquel area, the average amount is 0.22 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and in the Aptos-Rio Del Mar-La Selva Beach area, the average amount is 0.13 mg/L.
The District does not add any additional fluoride to the water.
Some possible causes of problems with water which appears dirty, has an unusual color, or sediment/particles include:
Since there are many causes of dirty water, the District investigates each complaint carefully. Please be prepared to answer the following questions when reporting this problem to 831-475-8500:
The answers to these questions will assist us in finding the cause of the dirty water and may also suggest corrective steps to take. District Customer Service Representatives respond to calls regarding water which appears to be dirty, colored or has foreign particles, within one business day.
The District pumps groundwater from several different sources (wells) positioned throughout the District’s service area. Not all wells are actively pumping at the same time, and since each well has its own baseline hardness value, each service area has a range of hardness values, listed below (based on 2017 water hardness data).
It is advisable to program the dishwasher beginning at the lower end of the designated range and then adjust upward as necessary.
To find out the most recent hardness number, read the District’s annual consumer confidence/water quality report.
TCP is exclusively a man-made chemical. The primary source of TCP in groundwater is past agricultural use of soil fumigants that contained TCP as an impurity.
TCP has not been detected in the District wells that currently supply drinking water. The Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for TCP is 5 parts per trillion (ppt). Country Club Well has TCP levels above the MCL - with an average of 8.7 ppt, and a maximum of 15 ppt. As of July 2017, Country Club Well has been temporarily shut off pending installation of a TCP treatment plant.
The most likely source of the TCP in Country Club Well was as a known impurity in the soil fumigants (nematicides) D-D and Telone. The immediate area around Country Club Well was agricultural in the 1950s and 1960s. We do not know how long the TCP has been in the groundwater.
The District has been testing for TCP since 1989. TCP was first detected in 2008 using an improved analytical method, capable of detecting very low levels.
The District’s water meets or exceeds all current drinking water testing requirements and regulations. The experts at the State Water Resources Control Board, Division Drinking Water (DDW) say that some people who drink water containing TCP over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer, based on studies of laboratory animals.
A new Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for 1,2,3-TCP of 5 ppt was established by DDW. The new standard takes effect in 2018.
The District is currently evaluating potential treatment options for the TCP in order to utilize this important drinking water supply source. If you have additional questions about TCP and your health, you should visit the DDW’s TCP page.