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In most cases, the odor is present only when the water is first turned on or when hot water is run. If you notice this smell in your drinking water, it probably contains hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Hydrogen sulfide gas produces a strong and unpleasant “rotten egg” or “sulfur” odor and taste. Sulfur, sulfates and hydrogen sulfates are naturally occurring minerals in our groundwater and are not generally considered harmful because the taste and odor is so unpleasant at such low levels that the taste and smell would prohibit most people from drinking it well before it reached harmful levels.Water heaters can produce hydrogen sulfide gas by providing a warm environment for sulfate-reducing bacteria to live. Heat forces the gas into the air which may cause the odor to be especially offensive in a shower. Also, the magnesium anode in the water heater supplies electrons that sustain the reaction of sulfate to hydrogen sulfide gas. One of the simplest things you can do if your water has an odor is to check the temperature setting on your water heater. Hydrogen sulfide gas builds up in the water heater when the water doesn't get heated to a high enough temperature to burn off the gas. Builders and realtors often drop the temperature down to the lowest setting, to save on the heating costs before the home is occupied. Here’s what you can do:
You may actually use less hot water this way because the temperature is regulated by mixing with more cold water at the showerhead or sink tap.
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Water may come become discolored with a brown tint or cloudy due to a number of things happening in the water distribution system. There can be several reasons why you experience discoloration, such as:
This type of work could stir up sediment that has collected in the watermain and happened to flow through the system into your home. Although it is not harmful, it may cause stains in your laundry.
First, we always recommend that you contact the Public Works Department at 763-785-6165. Staff will be able to answer your questions and provide assistance. It also helps us hear about potential problem areas in your neighborhood so we can respond if necessary.
Remove faucet aerators and filters and fully open your COLD water taps, let them run for 5-10 minutes. If you run the cold water in a bathtub or laundry tub, it speeds up the cleaning process and may provide a light background to help you monitor the discoloration. If your water still isn’t clear, wait 30 minutes and try again. Another option, weather permitting, is to run an outside spigot without the garden hose until the water clears. Though discolored, the water can be used on plants and landscape.
The water is treated with chlorine at the water treatment plants and well houses throughout the City. The City treats its water supply to protect against Total Coliform. The City chlorinates within the State guidelines, but occasionally, you may smell chlorine in the water because we chlorinate to meet demand and insure safe water quality.
If you notice a chlorine or bleach smell coming from your water, run your COLD water line for 5-10 minutes. If it does not dissipate, or you have additional questions, you can contact Public Works at 763-785-6165 to speak with someone in the Water Department.
Water heaters should be flushed every one to three years, depending on the model and water source. Sediment buildup in the tank can reduce your water heater's energy efficiency and also clog your water lines. Avoid these problems and increase the life of your unit by flushing the tank.
How to Flush the Tank