|Regulated by EPA||Regulated by FDA|
|Costs pennies a day—about $.0004 per gallon||Costs $.80 - $4.00 per gallon|
|Contains essential nutrients such as calcium and iron||Some bottlers filter out nutrients- Check the label or contact the supplier.|
|Residual chlorine prevents bacterial growth||Some do not have a residual disinfectant to prevent bacterial growth as water ages|
What is the source of our water?
Our customers receive water purchased from the city of Hamilton, supplemented with water purchased from the Cincinnati Waterworks. Both cities use and treat water from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, an underground water basin. The city of Cincinnati also uses and treats water from the Ohio River.
The water is treated to meet stringent water quality standards. It is pumped into storage tanks located throughout Butler County until it is sent into our distribution system to be delivered to your home or business.
Is bottled water safer than tap water?
Not necessarily. Check the bottled water label or contact the bottled water supplier for test results on their product. Under special circumstances, such as during an emergency, bottled water can be a good choice.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates public water systems. As shown in our
Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), BCWS’s water supply meets all federal and state EPA drinking water standards. Bottled water must comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations. Most required monitoring under the FDA regulations is not as frequent as the monitoring done on BCWS’s water under EPA regulations.
Depending on the source of the water and the treatment process, some bottled waters may contain more or less amounts of substances than tap water. Some studies have shown that microbial growth may occur in bottled water during storage due to the lack of residual disinfectant. BCWS adds chlorine to its system to control microbial growth.
People with compromised immune systems should check the water quality test results for BCWS and the bottled water supplier, and consult their doctor before deciding which source is best for them.
Why did I get a Water System Maintenance Notice "Green Tag" on my door?
When part of the water system has a specified loss in pressure because of a main break or other problem, the Ohio EPA recommends issuing a precautionary boil advisory to all affected customers. It usually takes us about 24-48 hours to fix main breaks and analyze water samples. We will notify you with a new door tag if the advisory continues longer than 48 hours.
How do I get information about water quality?
Water quality standards for safe drinking water are set by the USEPA and Ohio EPA. The water we serve you meets or exceeds all of these requirements.
Our Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) provides a summary of our water testing for the previous year.
If you have other questions about your water quality, please call our Customer Care Department at (513) 887-3066.
Why is there chlorine in the water?
BCWS adds chlorine to the water to ensure the water is free from harmful bacteria. The department has installed several chlorine pump stations throughout our service area. On average there are about 0.6 parts per million of chlorine in our water.
How do I decrease the amount of chlorine in my water (for fish tanks, plant watering, etc.)?
Fill a clean container and leaving it slightly uncovered, allow it to stand overnight. The chlorine will evaporate. To speed up the process, warm the water. Store the dechlorinated water in the refrigerator.
Is there is lead in my water?
BCWS follows EPA regulations and guidelines for water system lead testing. Our tests indicate that, system-wide, the lead levels in BCWS’s water are below the EPA limits.
However, lead from your home's plumbing can leach into your water. Lead pipes are easily scratched with a house key, leaving a shiny streak. A private laboratory can test a sample of your water to test for lead.
For more information, see:
Why is there fluoride in the water?
Fluoride prevents tooth decay and is essential for proper development of bones and teeth. On average there is 1 part per million of fluoride in our drinking water.
What is the hardness level of BCWS’s water?
The hardness of the water is usually between 145 and 170 parts per million. This equals 8-10 grains per gallon.
What is the pH level of BCWS’s water?
The pH of our water usually ranges between 8.8 and 9.4.
If my water has an odor, what should I do?
Often odors that appear to be coming from running water are coming from the drain. If it seems that your water has a “sewer gas” odor, fill a glass with water and take it to another room. If the water has no odor in the other room, then the odor is probably coming from the drain. Cleaning the drain will usually correct the problem.
Chlorine odors occur when the residual chlorine disinfectant gases (ClO2) combine with gases given off by common household items. New carpets, paint, flowers, pine wreaths, upholstery, scented soaps and other household products produce gases called VOCs. When the chlorine gas and VOCs combine, you may get a smell that does not smell like either chlorine or the source of the VOC. Some of the most common descriptions of the odors are cat urine, fuel oil or chemicals.
To reduce these odors, try putting a fan in your window to air out your home to reduce the level of VOCs or use a carbon filter to reduce the level of ClO2.
If you are unable to determine the origin of the odor; please call our Customer Care Department at (513) 887-3066.
Why is my water sometimes rusty?
Rusty or yellow water comes from mineral deposits stirred up during hydrant flushing, fire-fighting, line breaks or maintenance. The local fire department lists scheduled hydrant flushing in the newspaper. Try not to use water during these times to avoid pulling deposits into your home's plumbing.
Rusty water will generally clear up within 2-3 hours after the line is repaired or hydrant closed. You will need to run your cold water for several minutes to flush the rusty water from the lines in your house. Try not to run the hot water because that can deposit rust in your hot water tank.
If your laundry gets stained by rusty water, keep it moist. Buy a rust remover and follow the directions on the package.
Why does my water look cloudy?
Cloudy or milky-looking water is usually caused by dissolved air bubbles in the water. Air bubbles are harmless and are caused by pressure changes, temperature changes, water that is too hot (above 140° F) and faucet aerators. To check for air bubbles, fill a glass container with water: if the cloudiness is caused by air bubbles, it will clear from the bottom of the container toward the top.
Why are there particles floating in my water?
Black, brown or rusty particles can be caused by minerals breaking loose during hydrant flushing, line breaks or line maintenance. Flush your lines by running the cold water for several minutes. If the water does not clear, the particles could be coming from breakthroughs in your hot water heater or filter system. Call a licensed plumber to investigate the problem.
If white or tan particles are floating on the surface of the water, the problem may be coming from your hot water heater. The plastic dip tubes in water heaters often disintegrate with pieces going through the plumbing and being trapped in faucet aerators. Call a licensed plumber to investigate the problem.
Why is there a pink or black ring in my toilet?
Bacteria, fungus and mold spores normally found in the air can cause rings in your toilet bowl. Wet surfaces provide ideal conditions, and the organisms reproduce rapidly, growing together to form a ring. The color of the ring depends on the species of bacteria, mold or fungus.
You can easily remove the rings with a toilet bowl brush and household cleaners. Close the toilet lid to reduce the number of spores and reduce the light needed for growth.
What causes pinhole leaks?
Scientists have not yet discovered why pinhole leaks occur. National experts currently think that pitting in pipes can start from many factors, including:
- substandard pipe manufacturing
- improper installation
- improper electrical grounding
- excess plumbing flux
For more information, click here
Where can I find more information about drinking water?
EPA publications contain more information about drinking water and your health