Water Quality FAQs

Is my drinking water safe?

Yes. White House Utility District meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for safe drinking water. WHUD conducts all water quality sampling required by EPA and the State of Tennessee.  Water that WHUD delivers to customers is in compliance with all applicable water quality parameters – including Chromium. Detailed information about our testing results and the source of your drinking water can be found in our Consumer Confidence Report which is annually distributed to all our customers.

Should I worry about news reports regarding potentially hazardous chemicals and utility provider violations of federal regulations?

White House Utility District water continues to meet all federal and state water quality standards and water treatment standards. Detailed information about our testing results and the source of your drinking water can be found in our Consumer Confidence Report which is annually distributed to all our customers.

How are germs that can make me sick kept out of my drinking water?

Chlorine, a chemical disinfectant, is added to the drinking water at the treatment plant. Chlorine is the most common disinfectant used in the United States and Canada.

Is water with chlorine in it safe to drink?

Yes. Tests have shown that the amount of chlorine found in treated water is safe to drink, although some people object to the taste.

Why does my drinking water taste or smell bad? Will this smelly water make me sick?

The two most common reasons for bad tasting or smelling water are:

  • Caused by the chlorine that is added to the water to kill germs, or
  • Related to algae and tiny fungi that grow in surface water sources. As they give off nontoxic, smelly chemicals that can cause unpleasant tastes in drinking water. Different algae cause different tastes and odors – grassy, swampy, and pigpen, as examples and the little fungi can cause an earthy-musty taste. None of the contaminants that could affect your health can be tasted in drinking water. There are no proven incidents of the chemicals that cause a bad taste in drinking water making people sick.

Why do I sometimes see dark specs or particles in my water?

Many homes use braided hoses with black rubber lines for interior plumbing. As these materials age, tiny particles can be expelled in the water. This type of issue can be verified and corrected by contacting a licensed plumber.

My water sometimes looks cloudy or milky when first taken from a faucet and then it clears up. Why is that?

The cloudy or milky water is caused by air becoming dissolved in water similar to the gas bubbles in carbonated soft drinks. When taken from the faucet after a while, the air bubbles rise to the top and are gone. This cloudy or milky appearance usually occurs when water has been shut-off for line repairs or when newly installed lines are first put in to service. Although aesthetically unpleasing, it presents no harmful health effects.

Click the image for a quick guide on how to flush your lines.

What is "hard" water?

“Hardness” in drinking water is caused by two nontoxic chemicals (usually called minerals)-calcium and magnesium. If calcium and/or magnesium is present in your water in substantial amounts, the water is said to be hard because making a lather or suds for washing is hard (difficult) to do. Thus, cleaning with hard water is hard/difficult. Water containing little calcium or magnesium is called soft water.

Should I buy bottled water?

The decision to buy bottled water is a personal one. In the U.S., bottled water is less regulated than municipal drinking water, and it is more expensive (a gallon of WHUD water costs less than a penny; a gallon of bottled water costs approximately $1). Because utilities are so heavily regulated, you don’t need to buy bottled water for health reasons. If you want a drink with a different taste, try adding lemon juice to your tap water.

What are cross-connections and why are they a problem?

A cross-connection is a connection between a drinking water pipe and a possible polluted source. Here’s a common example. You’re going to spray weed killer on your lawn. You hook up your hose to the sprayer that contains the weed killer. If the water pressure drops at the same time your hose is turned on, the chemical in the sprayer may be sucked back into the drinking water pipes through the hose. This would seriously pollute the drinking water system. Using a backflow prevention device can prevent this problem. White House Utility District operates a cross-connection control program, which duties are to eliminate or protect the water supply from any apparent or possible cross-connections. Protecting the water supply from cross-connections is vital if the drinking water quality is to be protected! You can visit the USC Foundation for Cross Connection Control and Hydraulic Research website for more information on Cross Connections.

Many water quality issues can be resolved by flushing the home’s water lines and/or water heater. Click the images below for detailed information on how to flush.

Home Flushing

Water Heater Flushing

Did you know?