Q: I have recently installed lawn sprinklers and my water bill seems extremely high. My installer told me I would be saving water, whats going on here?
A: I have never met a homeowner who saved water by installing a lawn sprinkler system. While it is the best way for your lawn to be watered to maintain a healthy lawn, you will be using a considerable amount of water, so it should be used responsibly. Here is a simple way to figure out how to estimate how much water is going on your lawn. Your lawn will be separated into zones that turn on and off to evenly distribute water onto your lawn and run at different times. Each zone will have approximately 5-6 heads. By multiplying the amount of heads times the amount times each zone you can calculate your approximate usage. An average head uses approximately 5 gallons per minute. For example, if you have 5 zones with 5 heads per zone, each zone is using 25 gallons per minute when running. If you run each zone for 20 minutes you are using 500 gallons per zone. Multiply that times 5 and that will equal your usage for the watering period. In this case, 2500 gallons. So you can see how quickly this can add up.
Q: I have a higher than normal water bill this quarter and have been told I have a possible toilet leak. How can this be, I see no water anywhere around my toilet?
A: Chances are your toilet leak is internal and while sometimes you may hear it running, this is not always the case. If the fill adjustment is off, your water is just running down the drain, similar to a running faucet. The difference in the toilet is this problem is occurring 24 hours day, leading to a large increase in usage. A leaking toilet can easily add 25,000 to 30,000 to your bill in one quarter! A leaking flapper valve could also be the culprit. If you find your toilet is leaking, replace the internals. Many times, it may be less expensive to replace the entire toilet and you will be purchasing a toilet that uses 33% water per flush.
Q: Why does water need to be disinfected?
A. Disinfectants are required because they prevent the spread of germs that cause diseases. Years ago, before disinfectants were used for drinking water, diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery were common. Drinking water disinfection has vastly improved the quality and safety of drinking water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My shower head seems clogged and there is a lot of white powdery caking on the fixture, what is wrong with my water?
A: There is nothing wrong with your water. This is lime calcification and is a reaction with the anode in your hot water tank and the water. It is most visible in a shower head because water stays there for long periods of time. This can be alleviated by regular monthly maintenance of you shower head. Simply remove the shower head and pour vinegar into the fixture. Allow to sit for a couple of hours, rinse out and re-install your shower head.
Q: Why does my water appear milky or cloudy?
A. A milky or cloudy appearance is usually caused by air bubbles in the water, which pose no health risk. If the water is allowed to sit, the air will dissipate and the water will clear. If the cloudiness does not disappear, please contact us so that we may investigate.
Q. Why does my water have a chlorine taste (or smell)?
A. We disinfect your water to ensure that it is free of harmful bacteria. To reduce any chlorine taste or smell, try refrigerating your water before drinking.
Greenville Water District
630 Putnam Pike Greenville, RI 02828