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Water & Sanitary FAQ
The Town of Drayton Valley provides water and sanitary services to residents. Our Public Works department works hard to maintain these services and infrastructure. Should you have any questions concerning your water or sanitary services please call the Town Office at 780-514-2200.
Information regarding water conservation can be found by visiting the Alberta Health Services website at http://onesimpleact.alberta.ca/solutions/
Water Services FAQ’s
Why is my water discoloured?
First, there is not actually any mud in the water delivered to your home and no mud can enter our pressurized water lines. However, there are minerals in the water that can settle in the main lines or accumulate on older household plumbing made from galvanized steel pipe. The two minerals that can cause the water to be discolored are iron and manganese. Neither of these minerals are harmful. They are found in most vitamin supplements. These minerals can accumulate in the bottom of the main lines over a number of years. When pressure changes occur in the water lines from line breaks, flushing of hydrants, fire use of hydrants, filling swimming pools or rapid turning on of the water (bathtub filling),
these minerals can re-dissolve in the water and make it appear muddy.
Why does my water look milky white?
This is caused by excessive amounts of air in the water lines. Air can get trapped in high places in household lines or mains. This trapped air then saturates the water passing through it under pressure and gives it the white, milky look. Fill a clear glass with water and let it sit on the counter. Watch as the milky look disappears with time.
I have low water pressure?
It is a legitimate concern when you notice low water pressure in your home or office. Low water pressure can be caused by many things. Simple problems like the shut-off valve being closed or a faucet being blocked can cause low water pressure, however more serious issues like plumbing blockages or water leaks decrease water pressure, too. Use these tips to troubleshoot low water pressure issues.
1. Determine if all locations within your home or office have low water pressure.
Check various locations like the kitchen, the bathroom and an outdoor hydrant to identify a problem area or to determine that all locations have low water pressure.
2. Check the faucet if you only have low water pressure in a particular location, such as the kitchen sink. Remove the end of the faucet. Turn the water on. The faucet has no blockage if the water flow is not restored to normal.
Examine your aerator if the water pressure increases. Remove any debris and replace the aerator.
3. Inspect the water heater if your low water pressure only affects your hot water.
Verify the shut-off valve is not shut off. For safety, each water heater includes a shut-off valve to use in case of emergencies. If the valve becomes turned slightly, it can reduce your water pressure.
Contact your plumber to check your lines into your water heater. Blockages can occur within the lines, and plumbers have efficient ways of checking them.
4. Look at the Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV). Shaped like a bell, the PRV is usually located on the line where it enters the home or office. Adjust it to see if it affects your overall water pressure. Replacement may be necessary if the valve has failed or broken. (not all homes will have a PRV)
5. Check the shut-off valve at the water meter. This valve can influence water pressure, especially if it has been turned slightly.
6. Determine if you have a water leak within your building or in the area.
Call your neighbors to see if they are experiencing water pressure issues, too. If they are, there may be a leak in the lines. Call the water department to report the issue.
Look at your water lines to check for leaks. Check your water usage at your meter. If it is significantly more than usual, it is likely you have a leak. Call a plumber for repairs
Why do we do hydrant flushing?
There are a few reasons. One, sediment builds up in the water lines and inside the hydrants. So they need to be flushed to remove the sediment. Second, if the water department did and maintenance or repairs on the system, they would need to be flushed to remove and debris that got into the pipes during the repair. And third, fire hydrants need to be tested to find out what their flow capacity is for firefighting purposes. In commercial and residential areas, we have to know if there is enough water available to extinguish a fire. This also lets us know if there are any faulty or shut off hydrants so that they can be repaired or replaced.
Sulfate reducing bacteria in the hot water heater. These are non-harmful bacteria that can grow in extreme temperatures. They are even found in some hot springs. These bacteria take sulfate and change it into hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell). Remedy this by turning the water heater all the way up for 24 hours and then flush it and return the hot water heater to its normal temperature. Caution: Be extremely careful of scalding water during the 24-hour period. This water will burn very quickly. Extra caution should be used around children.
Bad smells can come up from drains and be mistaken for being in the water. Remedy this by checking to see if it is actually the water. Do this by filling a clean glass with the water and then take it away from the sink and smell it. If there is no smell, it is the drain and a licensed, professional plumber should be contacted.
Sanitary Services FAQ’s
Sanitary:I have a sewage backup in my house, what should I do?
Call the Town of Drayton Valley, Utilities on-call phone at 780-621-1074, they will come and check the manholes up and down stream of your home or business to determine if the problem is in the sewer main or the sewer service to the house or business. If the problem is in the sewer service it is the responsibility of the property owner and the Town of Drayton Valley recommends that a licensed plumber be called. If the problem is in the sewer main the Town of Drayton Valley, thanks you for letting us know of the problem and will correct the problem as soon as possible.
What is the purpose for sewer flushing?
The purpose of flushing and jetting which is what we do in Drayton Valley is to clean and remove blockages in the sewer lines.
Flushing introduces large volumes of water into a manhole which is effective for removing floatables and some sand and grit from the lines.
Jetting, which is what we do in Drayton Valley, directs high velocities of water against the pipe wall, this removes debris and grease build-up, clears blockages and even cuts roots within small diameter pipes. This is efficient for routine cleaning of small diameter pipes and low flow sewers.