FAQ

To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our customers' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.

How could I have used this much water?

You may not have - the numbers on your meter may have been transposed or hard to read. You could possibly have a leaky toilet or faucet that's difficult to detect. Just call the office and we'll work with you to solve the problem.

What do I do if I am experiencing low pressure?

Check your meter and the surrounding area for possible leaks. Next, call our office and report low pressure for your area.

Why is my water discolored?

A repair could have been completed recently allowing air to enter the line, causing the milky look.

What chemicals does our utility district add to the water?

Only chemicals that are approved by the National Safety Foundation for treatment of drinking water.

My water tastes, looks, and smells funny. Is it safe to drink?

All public water systems are required to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.2 mg/L (tested at the end of each line) by state law. Systems that use chloramine as a disinfectant must maintain a level of 0.5 mg/L by state law. Our disinfectant levels are tested daily to ensure safety.

Why does debris come out of the faucet when running hot water?

Most likely your water heater needs to be flushed. CAUTION: Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional to flush your water heater. If you plan on doing this yourself, read the owner's manual to keep from being hurt and or damaging the water heater.

Why do I have a previous balance when I know I sent in my payment?

We may have received it after the due date or we may not have received it at all. Call our office and we will help you solve the problem.

How do I detect a leak?

Some common ways to pinpoint a leak are:

1. Put Food Coloring or Dye in the back of your commode and see if that particular color comes through to the bowl in two to four hours. If it does this tells you the commode is leaking.
2. If you have a main shutoff valve on your line coming into your house you could call Greater Harrison and setup an appointment with a technician to help you determine if the leak is under ground or in the house. 
WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE WATER METER WELL LID! 
Greater Harrison County PSD assumes NO Responsibility for personal injury incurred from the illegal entry into the water meter well or from the wrong installation of the lid back to its original location.
What do I do if I smell sewage?

Several things could go bad to cause sewage odor in the home.

1.Basement drain trap dry. This happens if no water goes down the basement drain for several weeks or months in a row. To keep this from happening poor a gallon of water down the drain every month or so, especially in the summer time.
2.Sewage vent pipe stopped up. Also known as a stink pipe. A 1-1/2” plastic pipe, usually exiting out the roof of the house is directly connected to the sewage drain system for fresh air during the time when sewage or grey water is going down the drain. This is used to keep the system from emptying traps throughout the house when liquid is going down the drain. If you hear a gurgling sound when liquid is draining the vent pipe is probably stopped up. A lot of times this happens in the spring when birds are busy building nests. One suggestion for clearing it is to put a water hose in the pipe and turn it on to clear the debris and wash it down the drain.
3.Toilet wax ring or seal bad. The trap in a commode is above the floor so if the seal goes bad odor can get in near the floor. Check at the bottom of the commode, near the floor to see if any moisture buildup is showing. If it is wet you need to hire a plumber to install a new seal. 
Boil Water Guidelines

Why was I advised to boil my water?

You may be asked to boil your tap water during an emergency or other situation, such as:

  1.        A water main break or repairs
  2.        If the water pressure drops due to equipment failure or power outages
  3.        If tests show that potentially harmful microorganisms may be present in the water
  4.        If the water source has been flooded
  5.        During other situations that warrant special action to protect the public’s health

How does boiling make my tap water safe?

Boiling the waster kills microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or protozoans that can cause disease.  Boiling makes the tap water microbiologically safe.

How long should I boil the water?

Bring tap water to a full rolling boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using.

Can I boil water in the microwave?

Tap water can be boiled in the microwave in a microwave-safe container, provided that the water reaches a full rolling boil for one minute.  Place a microwave-safe utensil in the container to keep the water from superheating (heating above the boiling point without forming steam or bubbles.)

Do I have to boil the tap water used to make beverages?

Yes. Boil all of the tap water you use for making coffee, tea, mixed drinks, Kool-Aid or any beverage made with water.  In addition, all tap water used for making ice for consumption must be boiled.

Should I boil the tap water used to make baby formula?

Yes.  Only use boiled tap water or bottled water for mixing formula for your baby.

Do I need to boil water before using it to wash vegetables that will be eaten raw?

Yes.  Boil all of the tap water you use for washing raw vegetables.

Should I boil the tap water used in cooking?

All tap water used in cooking must first be boiled for one minute, unless the cooking process involves boiling for one minute or more.

Do I have to boil my dish washing water?

No.  Adding a tablespoon of unscented, household bleach, such as Clorox to a sink full of tap water should be sufficient to treat the water used for washing dishes.  Bleach should also be added to the water used for rinsing dishes.  Allow dishes and utensils to air dry before reuse.  You may wash dishes in an electric dish washer, but be sure to use it with its heating elements turned on.  After washing in an electric dishwasher, dishes should be rinsed in water with a tablespoon of bleach added, and allowed to air dry before reuse.

Should I boil tap water for brushing my teeth?

Yes.  Any tap water that might be swallowed should be boiled before use.

Is it necessary to boil water to be used for hand washing?  Is any special soap necessary?

Yes.  It is necessary to boil the tap water used for washing hands; however, no special soaps are necessary.

Is it necessary to boil water to be used for hand washing?  Is any special soap necessary?

Yes.  It is necessary to boil the tap water used for washing hands; however, no special soaps are necessary.

What about my bath water?

It is recommended that you boil water for bathing or showering.  If you do not boil water for bathing or showering, care should be taken to avoid getting water in the mouth or swallowing the water.  Infants and toddlers should be sponge bathed with boiled water which has been allowed to cool.  No special soaps are necessary.   Care should be taken to prevent tap water that has not been boiled from getting into deep open or post-surgical wounds.  Consult your physician or health care provider for wound care instructions.

Do I need to use boiled water for washing clothes or flushing the toilet?

No

Do I still have to boil tap water if I have a water treatment device?

Yes.  Devices designed to improve the taste, odor, or chemical quality of the water, such as activated carbon filters, will not remove harmful microorganisms from the tap water.  Boil The tap water to make sure it is safe.

Can I use bottle water instead of boiling tap water?

Yes.  Bottled water can be used for all of the situations where boiled tap water is recommended in this brochure.  Be sure that the bottled water is from a reliable source.

Should I boil the tap water I give my animals or pets?

You can boil the tap water you give to the animals in your care.  Your veterinarian can tell you if this precaution is necessary.

What should I do if I become sick?

See your family physician or healthcare provider.  Your doctor may call the West Virginia Office of Environmental Health Services (304) 558-2981 for information about the boil water notice.  Your doctor should notify the local health department if he or she suspects your illness was caused by microorganisms in the water.  Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants.  People with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be at greater risk from infections.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.  Guidelines on ways to reduce the risk of infection from microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800)426-4791.

How will I know when it is safe to drink my tap water?

When the tests show that the tap water is safe to drink, a public announcement will be issued to local TV and/or radio stations advising the boil water has been lifted.  You can also contact your local provider.