Valley of the Moon Water District serving the Valley since 1962

 

Water Quality FAQ’s

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Does our water contain fluoride?
How hard is our water?
How can I be certain there is no lead in my drinking water?
Do we have MTBE in our water?
What are disinfection byproducts?
Why is my water cloudy ?
Can a home water treatment device make my water even cleaner?
Is bottled water better than tap water?

 
Does our water contain fluoride?

Yes. Fluoride occurs naturally in almost all surface and ground waters. In this area, the natural concentration is 0.5 milligrams per liter.
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How hard is our water?
The hardness of our water is on the moderate side. Water hardness (a measure of calcium and magnesium concentrations in the water) is the result of a natural accumulation of salts from contact with soil and geological formations. When referring to household use, the term hardness is applied to the soap-neutralizing power of the water and is commonly expressed in grains per gallon. Generally, water with less than 4 grains per gallon hardness is soft, water with 4 to 7 grains per gallon is moderate, and water with greater than 7 grains per gallon is hard.
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How can I be certain there is no lead in my drinking water?
You can be sure that the water VOMWD provides is free of lead. Annual water quality tests conducted on water samples drawn from the reservoirs and throughout the distribution system consistently have found no detectable amounts of lead in our drinking water. 
There are additional measures you can take at home to keep lead levels low. First, do not cook with water from the hot water tap, because hot water can dissolve more lead from household plumbing more quickly than cold water. If you need hot water, draw water from the cold tap and heat it on the stove or in a microwave oven. Second, make sure your electrical system is not grounded to one of your water pipes, which can cause corrosion inside the pipe. Check with a licensed electrician or your local building inspector to determine if your wiring can be grounded elsewhere. Do not attempt to change the wiring yourself, because improper grounding can cause electrical shock and fire hazards.
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Do we have MTBE in our water?
No. VOMWD's water has no MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), a compound added to gasoline since 1996 to reduce air pollution. Because MTBE is highly water soluble and resists biodegradation, it has more potential to cause water pollution than other gasoline additives. We have tested all VOMWD water sources for MTBE and have not detected any. However, we will continue to monitor for it regularly. Sonoma County Water Agency also has tested Russian River water for MTBE and found none. MTBE contaminates waterways above and below the ground from leaking fuel storage tanks, exhaust from motorized watercraft, spillage from marina fueling facilities, and urban storm water runoff.
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What are disinfection byproducts?
Disinfection byproducts are compounds that form when chlorine, a disinfectant, mixes with naturally occurring organic material in the water. Disinfectants are added to water to eliminate water-borne diseases like cholera, dysentery and typhoid. The disinfection byproducts that occur most frequently are trihalomethanes (THMs). The federal standard for THMs is 80 ug/L (Micrograms per liter, or parts per billion), while the THM count in VOMWD's water averages 17 ug/L.
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Why is my water cloudy sometimes?
The cloudiness in the water is simply air bubbles being released. Sometimes the water imported from the Russian River in the winter is "supersaturated" with air. This is because the water is drawn from 60 to 80 feet below the river bed and, at these depths, the high winter water levels in the river increase the pressure. The higher pressure, combined with the low winter temperatures, enables water to hold more air.
On its way to your tap the water usually warms. When it comes out of your tap, pressure is released, causing the formation of many small air bubbles. There is no health impact of the air bubbles, but if you find the cloudiness unappealing, let the water sit for a few minutes or keep a container of water stored in the refrigerator.
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Can a home water treatment device make my water even cleaner?
The best reason to install a point-of-use water treatment system is to enhance the taste of your tap water. Most devices don't make water more healthful. In fact, if you do not follow carefully the manufacturer's maintenance schedule, you may actually increase the risk of introducing contaminants into your drinking water.
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Is bottled water better than tap water?
It is strictly a matter of taste preference. There is no significant health difference between tap water and bottled water, which comes from many sources, including wells, springs and even the tap. There is a significant cost difference, however. Drinking one liter of VOMWD tap water per day costs just one-tenth of what it will cost to drink one liter of bottled water daily!

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