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Chesapeake has two state-of-the-art water treatment plants. The Northwest River Treatment Plant uses conventional treatment and reverse osmosis. The Lake Gaston Treatment Plant uses an ultrafiltration process. Operators test the water many times a day to make sure the processes are working optimally.
In addition, certified water quality laboratory personnel run many types of tests on the process water and the water from customers homes and businesses. The technicians use high-tech instruments like atomic adsorption and gas chromatography, as well as wet chemistry to determine what the water contains.
A water quality report is produced every year and is available to all residents at City libraries, community centers, and online. Call Public Utilities Customer Service at 757-382-6352 to request a copy, or contact our water quality laboratory at 757-382-3550 for results of water quality testing.
If you simply wish to have your water tested for informational purposes, you should contact a private laboratory for assistance. This applies to citizens either on City water or on well water. If you have City water and have a concern about the water quality, the water quality laboratory at the Northwest River Water Treatment Plant may be able to help you. Call 757-382-3550. If you have well water, contact the Chesapeake Health Department at 757-382-8600 for help.
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.
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. When your water is discolored, we recommend that you avoid washing clothes or dishes until the sediment settles - usually in about two hours. If the water is still discolored after that time, contact the water quality laboratory at 757-382-3550.
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.
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.
If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, as with anything else, it is best to contact your doctor to determine how you should modify your diet.
Low pressure may be caused by an obstruction in the City line, the meter, or your own water lines. Call Public Utilities Customer Service at 757-382-6352 and we will dispatch a service crew to check the City line and meter. If no problem is found with the City lines, then you will need to contact a plumber to evaluate the problem in your lines.