Report a Problem

Report a Water or Sewer Emergency

Please note: Sewer backups are always an emergency because of the potential for spills inside a home, in the yard, or the street. Water leaks may or may not be an emergency, but call the emergency line anyway. It is always best for us to know immediately and have someone check it out.

Submit an Online Service Request

Water Quality

Access the City's annual Water Quality Report. It contains test results and important information about your water. Common water quality issues include:

  • Cloudy or Discolored Water: Cloudy water may be due to tiny air bubbles suspended in your cold water. Fill a clear glass with water and set it aside for a few minutes. Bubbles will rise to the top and the water will clear up.

    Discolored water can also occur when there is a change of pressure in the water system such as a main break, construction, or use of a fire hydrant. Sediment (minerals deposited on the inside of the pipe) will be loosened from the sides of the pipe and cause the water to look reddish or brown.

    Routine flushing can also cause discoloration. Flushing helps maintain the water quality in the distribution system. Citizens in affected areas are given advanced notice of scheduled flushing whenever possible. This operation has a possibility of causing discoloration to your water. This is considered normal, non-harmful, and should clear within a few hours. If your water doesn't clear within a few hours, report it online or call the water quality laboratory at 757-382-3550.
  • Toilet Suddenly Making Noise: If you see a City truck on your street, they may be cleaning the sanitary sewer main lines air is pushed out and sucked into the system via vent stacks at the top of your house and through manhole lids. This may cause a bubbling or gurgling sound in your toilet.
  • Particles Floating in Hot Water: White particles in your water are often caused by the breakdown of the dip tube in your hot water heater. Replacement of the dip tube and regular flushing of your hot water heater will eliminate this problem.
  • Orange or Pink coating on Faucet or Showerhead: This coating is commonly caused by airborne bacteria which produce the characteristic orange/pink film. These organisms are harmless and are commonly found in areas where there have been reconstruction or remodeling activities. These bacteria thrive on moist surfaces and can be eliminated and/or prevented by keeping surfaces as clean and dry as possible.
  • Sulfur or Rotten Egg Smell: A sulfurous odor or "rotten egg" smell is commonly caused by the breakdown of sulfate in your hot water heater. Regular flushing of your hot water heater will eliminate this problem. Clogged/dirty drains are another cause of odor problems.

    To determine if this is the problem, fill a clean glass with the water, walk away from the sink and smell the water in the glass. If you do not notice an odor in the water in the glass, the drain may be the problem. To correct this problem, clear the drain of any debris or other substances that may cause an odor.

If you have another issue or questions about your water quality, call the Water Lab at 757-382-3550. If you wish to have your water tested for informational purposes, contact a private laboratory for assistance.

If you have a well, contact the Chesapeake Health Department at 757-382-2672 or 757-382-8666.

Learn more about Chesapeake's drinking water.

Check for Water Leaks

Some things you can check for yourself:

  • Look inside, outside, and under your house for dripping or puddling water.
  • Put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank and do not flush. In 15 minutes, if the color is in the toilet bowl, you have a leak.
  • Request a free leak detection kit. Email Public Utilities Customer Service or call us at 757-382-6352. The kit contains a dye tablet and additional information and suggestions on detection and repair of leaks in your home.

After a leak in your home has been repaired, call 757-382-6352. A technician can inspect the meter area and get another reading, and you can request a bill adjustment.

Avoid Backups

Prevent costly sewer back-ups by never flushing paper towels, diapers, hygiene products, wipes (even the flushable type) or any other trash. Learn about the damage these items can do to pipes. Get more tips. Watch "Will it Flush," a video produced by the City of Spokane, WA.

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