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Every home is equipped with a shut off valve that allows you to turn the water off inside your home. It is wise to locate that valve in case of an emergency. In most "Huber Homes," the main valve is located in the utility room, next to the water heater. It is the valve closest to the floor. (If you need assistance locating the valve, call SUEZ and schedule an appointment with a service representative to help locate the valve. There is no charge for this service.) Turning the valve clockwise should completely turn off the water inside your home. If there is no valve in this location of your home, please check with a plumber or a previous owner to find out the location of the shut off valve in your home. If you need an emergency shutoff, call SUEZ at 937-233-3292, 24 hours a day.
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If you find a water main break after hours just call our office number. That same number is used regardless of the time of day 937-233-3292. After office hours an answering service will answer and they will forward your concern to the technician that is ON CALL. If needed, the technician will return your call from a work mobile phone. The phone number the technician calls from will show up as "restricted" on your caller ID. Please be sure to answer the phone if you are expecting a return call. After hours, this number is only meant to report immediate issues/emergencies such as a suspected water main break.
The new water softening system for Huber Heights water has been turned on. It is a membrane filtering system, not a salt system, and is currently producing softened water. It may take a few days for the softened water to get through the entire system before full softening levels are achieved.
If you do not have a water softener in your home, then you do not need to do anything, and you should slowly start to notice the difference in the water.
If you currently use a water softener, it is likely set at 22 gpg, in order to get the most savings you will need to make an adjustment to your softener’s settings. The newly softened water is reduced down to 7 gpg, and you should adjust your in-home water softener accordingly if you still desire your current softening level. You could also bypass your in-home softener for a week or so to see if the system water is now to your liking. In any case, make sure to adjust your softener if you maintain using it to avoid excessive salt and water use due to the newly softened water in the system.
How do I adjust my water softener?
Basic water softeners are simple to set, you just need to know the hardness level of your water. In Huber Heights, we soften to a level of 7 grains per gallon (gpg). On a basic water softener, you simply change the setting on your softener in accordance with the level. For instance, if your hardness is running at a 7, you would set it to 7 on the unit. Most of the time this is done by turning a dial or programming an electric head unit. Both are simple just follow the instructions that came with the unit. If you do not have it you can typically find a free download of your manual on line. First, look for the brand and model # on your unit. Then do a search on the internet, typing in “manual for” followed by the brand and model #.
When putting in a water softener, you will need to know the total hardness of the water. In Huber Heights the total hardness is 119 milligram per liter or 7 grains per gallon.
Why does my water look rusty? What should I do?
Discolored water could have several causes. Throughout the distribution system you can occasionally experience reddish yellow or brown color to your water. This is usually caused by increased flow through water mains, or through your own plumbing which dislodges iron deposits. This can be caused by any of the following reasons:
1. A hydrant in your neighborhood recently being used for construction or to fight a house fire or to flush hydrants in your area for routine maintenance or fire flow testing by the fire department.
2. A water main break in the vicinity.
3. It could also be caused by just an overall increase in demand of the water supply throughout the system.
4. If water is only looking rusty coming from certain faucets in your home and not others, or it is only present when you use hot water, it can be an issue inside your homes plumbing. In that instance you may need to consult a plumber to resolve the issue.
Though rusty water may look and taste unpleasant, it is not generally a health concern. Iron in water is not a sign of harmful bacteria or lead, which are hazards. The limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for iron in drinking water are based on aesthetics (taste, odor, color), not safety concerns. The City of Huber Heights meets all drinking water standards including those set for iron.
If you notice your water is discolored do not do laundry until the water runs clear, if you have already started doing laundry do not dry any clothing until the disturbance is over. When the water runs clear, re-wash the items before drying. Your local grocery carries “Iron Out” and other similar products that will remove discoloration from clothing if it is stained.
Most importantly, if you experience a rust color in yourwater, first make sure your hot water faucet is off and run the cold water forat least 5 minutes to see if it runs clear, if not please call the waterdepartment, giving your location, so someone can respond and help you determineif you need a plumber or if flushing a hydrant near your home can help etc. Theemergency # for the water department after hours is the same as the day timenumber which is 937-233-3292.
IMPORTANT!!! If you notice the smell inside or outside your home, as a safety measure you should first call your gas company to investigate.
To track down the source of a rotten egg smell that you feel is water related, first check your drainpipes.
If you have a shower, tub, floor drain or sink that gets minimal use, the odor could be caused by sewer gas filtering into your home through an empty plumbing trap. Sewer gas contains methane, which has a distinctive sulfur smell.
The drains from your fixtures all connect to the main sewer pipe that exits your home. If you haven’t used a particular shower or tub in the past few weeks, the water in the trap may have evaporated and is now allowing sewer gas to seep in.
To find out if a dry trap is the culprit, follow your nose to the room containing the little-used fixture—the smell will likely be much stronger there. If the dry trap is to blame, the fix is simple: Just turn on the faucet a few seconds and let the water run. The water will fill the trap inside the drain and effectively block sewer gases.
If the smell is strongest in your basement, the floor drain trap may have dried out. Pour a pitcher of water down the floor drain to refill the trap. If the smell dissipates, you’ve solved the problem.
If it only smells when you run the hot water
If you only smell the rotten eggs when you run the hot water, the problem is likely with your water heater. If the anode rod in the water heater goes bad, it can introduce a sulfur smell into the hot water supply inside your home. The odor can be mild at first, and then become overwhelming over a period of time.
Chemicals in the water can react to the anode, resulting is a sulfur smell indoors. If you have a water softener, you’re at an increased risk of the anode having a chemical reaction to other elements in the water.
Try a sink test using first straight cold and then hot water. If you notice the odor only when you run the hot water, the anode rod is the likely culprit. A licensed plumber can replace the existing anode and should not require replacing the entire unit.
If you have done all the previous tests steps
If you’ve exhausted the previous steps in trying to determine the source of the sulfur smell in the house, it’s time to call a plumber to check your sewer service lines. A broken drainpipe can allow sewer gasses leak out and invade your home. In the case of a broken line, the smell could be even stronger outdoors than indoors, if the break is located in a part of the pipe that’s buried in the yard.
Chlorine is added during water treatment as a disinfectant to kill bacteria and eradicate waterborne germs like e.coli and the norovirus. It is actually required by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in order to disinfect water before it is distributed to homes and offices.
The EPA recommends levels below 4mg/L. Chlorine can be smelled at levels of 1 mg/L.
The very low concentrations of chlorine used to disinfect water is entirely harmless and regularly monitored. Water leaving our treatment works will have less than 1.4 parts per million of chlorine and this will reduce further before reaching your home. This is to ensure the quality of the drinking water is maintained through the pipe network to the point when it reaches your tap.
Some people are more sensitive than others are, to the smell or taste of chlorine and may become aware of occasional changes in chlorine levels in their tap water.
For example, the taste or odor of chlorine may be more noticeable at times of day when water use is high. This is because the water is reaching you quicker and contains more chlorine than when it has been standing in the pipes.
Levels of chlorine may also become more noticeable if we’ve been working on the water mains or if we have to supply you with water from our other water treatment facility.
The strength of this chlorine scent can also be affected by the temperature of the water. Hot water generally has a stronger smell yet it contains no more chlorine than cold water.
If you find the taste of chlorine unacceptable, a good solution is to fill a jug of tap water and cover it. Keep it in the fridge. Not only will the chilled water taste better, it will lose that chlorine smell.
In January of 2019, the City did raise “water rates only” by 15%. However, if you comparing last month’s bill to this month’s bill here are some things to consider:
Remember that your water usage is billed after it is used each month, so look closely at your service dates to determine the period that your bill represents. Next, consider the time of the year.
During summer months, it is not uncommon for your water usage to go up, increasing the amount of your water bill. Sometimes, an increase in usage in summer is because of all the things we do in the summer vs. winter, such as washing cars, filling and refilling kiddie pools, running through water sprinklers or using water slides. Watering occurs in the summer that does not happen in the winter such as people watering flowers or gardens or even your yard. Some people take more showers in the summer than the winter. Washing clothes in the washer may be more prevalent in the summer as well.
Regardless of the time of year, there are many causes (more than can be listed here). Some common causes found in our area have been:
A leaking toilet that runs constantly or a toilet that continues to run after being flushed. (Sometimes the leak can be so small that you can’t even hear it.)
A dripping faucet — a faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day or more.
Filling or topping off a swimming pool.
A leaking hose bib, or one that was left open.
Kids home for summer vacations or school holidays or long-term guests.
Water heater leaks.
A broken water pipe underground between the water meter and the house.
If you have a basement check the pipes in the basement or crawlspace as well as the water heater.
Water softener problems – example: if your water softener cycles more often than it should.
If you suspect you have a leak, but can’t find it, the water department can assist by checking your water meters usage history. The City uses an E-Coder meter, which stores consumption in hourly intervals for a rolling total of 96 days. This is equal to 2,304 hourly intervals of consumption. This data can be extracted using what we call a “data-logger” and a graph along with all the meter readings is created. Though it cannot tell you where the problem is, if it happened in the last 96 days, it can tell you things like, what date the usage began going up, or when the usage returned to normal. It can tell you if the meter is running the majority of the time or if it is only leaking intermittently. These things can help you or your plumber in deciding where to search for the problem. If you would like to have this checked, please call the water department ask for an appointment to have our service technician run a “data-logger” for you.
If your water pressure suddenly drops there could be several reasons why. Here are a few ways troubleshoot the problem:
Water Softener Issue - To check this check your owner's manual to see how to bypass your water softener. Generally there is a switch on the unit. If your pressure returns to normal when it is bypassed, consult with a plumber to correct the problem with the unit.
Construction crews or the water department - could be working on a repair to a water main in the area. If the water department is working in your area they do their best to notify all those affected, however this is not always possible in emergency situations. When the work is complete your water pressure should return to normal. If it does not contact the water department at 937-233-3292 to further investigate.
Faucets/Fixtures - Check various locations throughout the home. If the low pressure is only affecting one or two locations, the source of the low water pressure is likely a clogged facuet or screen/aerator. If this is the case remove the screen from the faucet and clean or replace it.
Hot Water Heater issue - Run both hot and cold water through all faucets. If you water pressure is low only when hot water is running, the issue could be your water heater. In this case consult with a plumber to troubleshoot further.
Galvanized piping - In older homes not built by Huber Homes, and (in excess of 50 years old) you could have galvanized piping. If so over time corrosion of the piping can occur. This is not a common problem in Huber Heights as most service lines are made of copper or PVC. If you do have galvanized piping you will need to consult with a plumber to resolve the issue.
Call SUEZ immediately at 937-233-3292. Each home is also equipped with a sewer clean out that can be used as a relief valve. It is usually located somewhere close to the front of the house. In the event that the main sewer line would back up into your sewer lateral, removing the lid from this clean-out can relieve much of the pressure in the line and may keep it from backing up inside your home. To determine whether it is a sewer main line backing up or your sewer lateral line, see "What do I do if my drains won't drain"
Check to see if the drain problem you are having is isolated to one sink, bathtub or other single fixture. If so, the problem is in the drain line to that fixture and you are responsible for taking care of the problem. If the problem seems to be throughout the home, call SUEZ first. We will check the main lines to see if there is a back up in the sewer main system. If the problem is in the City's sanitary sewer main line, SUEZ will clear the stoppage as quickly as possible. There is no charge for this service. If there is no stoppage in the sewer main lines, we will notify you that the problem is in your sewer lateral and you can then call a plumber or other person capable of clearing your sanitary sewer lateral.
Cloudy, milky or foamy looking water is usually caused by the release of dissolved air from water. This is quite common and harmless. When watched closely, the dissolved air slowly travels upward, out of solution. This can also be caused when natural minerals in water come out of solution.
Water pressure can have something to do with it. The water in the pipe is pressurized. Water under pressure holds more air than water that is not pressurized. Once the water comes out of your tap, the water is no longer under pressure and the air comes out of solution as bubbles (similar to a carbonated soft drink).