FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WATER TASTE ADVISORY 4/26/2023
Letter from HUC, TVA, and TDECCustomer Letter
We are aware that some of our customers are reporting that their water has an earthy taste to it. This is due to low water flow in the Hiwassee River, where we get our water for treatment. This taste is due to trace chemicals (G2M) that released when algae naturally grow in a very small parts per trillion concentrations in the river. Some people can taste it and some cannot. The water is fully treated and meets all the safe drinking water standards for drinking. We feel that the problem will go away as the water flow gets back to normal levels in the Hiwassee River. Treatment of the water is being done. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience. Again, the water is perfectly safe to use and drink.
Geosmin and 2- methylisoborneol (MIB)
What you need to know
What are GEOSMIN and MIB?
Geosmin and 2-Methylisoborneol (MIB) are naturally occurring compounds that have an earthy/musty taste and odor. Some kinds of algae present in our source waters naturally produce GEOSMIN and MIB. An increase in the production typically happens during the summer. When these algae grow and multiply in the water supply, they excrete small amounts of harmless chemicals, GEOSMIN and MIB, into the water that cause the musty taste and odor.
What are the effects of GEOSMIN AND MIB?
GEOSMIN and MIB do not pose a public health risk, but their presence can cause about the quality of drinking water. Utilities around the country may receive high numbers of customer complaints whenever a GEOSMIN or MIB outbreak occurs in their water supply. Although these chemicals are harmless, the human senses of taste and smell are extremely sensitive to them and can detect them in the water at concentrations as low as fine parts per trillion (nano grams per liter).
Can I do anything to make my water taste better?
When GEOSMIN and MIB are noticeable, customers can add lemon juice and chill water in the refrigerator to improve taste and reduce odors.
I HAVE LOW PRESSURE IN MY KITCHEN BUT NOT MY BATHROOM, WHY?
LET’S CHECK OFF SOME THINGS TO SEE WHAT THE PROBLEM MIGHT BE….
- HAVE YOU CHECKED FOR A LEAK?
- HAVE YOU CLEANED OUT THE SCREENS? STUFF BUILDS UP IN THEM.WHICH WILL REDUCE YOUR PRESSURE.
- HAVE YOU BOUGHT A NEW FAUCETS. SOME NEW FAUCETS HAVE PRESSURE REDUCERS IN THEM. THAT WILL REDUCES YOUR PRESSURE. IF SO, THEY CAN BE ADJUESTED OR REMOVE. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, YOU MAY ALWAYS CALL USE 423-462-2701
CAN YOU RECOMMEND A PLUMBER OR BACKFLOW COMPANY?
NO, WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO RECOMMEND TO OUR CUSTOMERS ANY OUTSIDE SERVICES DUE TO THIS SHOWING FAVORITISM AND DOESN’T GIVE EQUAL OPORTUNITY FOR ALL COMPANIES SO TO HELP OUR CUSTOMERS WE HAVE COME UP WITH A MASTERLIST OF ALL KNOWN PLUMBERS/BACKFLOW INSTALLERS IN OUR AREA. THIS LIST WILL BE UPDATED AS WE GO. IF YOU ARE OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE ADDED TO OUR LISTS, PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE AT 423-462-2701.
DO YOU READ MY METER EVERY MONTH?
YES, ALL RUD METERS ARE MANUALLY READ. THE PLACEMENT OF BANKS, SHRUBS, BRUSH, ETC. MAKE ACCURATE READINGS MORE DIFFICULT, PLEASE TAKE TIME TO VIEW YOUR METER AND MAKE SURE YOU CAN SEE THE NUMBERS CLEARLY. IF OUR GUYS HAVE TO CRAWL INTO OR HAVE TO USE A FLASHLIGHT; CONDITIONS LIKE THIS MAKE INACCURACIES HAPPEN MORE FREQUENTLY.
IF YOU FEEL YOUR BILL IS TO HIGH, PLEASE CALL THE OFFICE WITH THE READING OFF YOUR METER AND WE WILL GLADLY TRY TO HELP.
WHY DO YOU FLUSH SO MUCH?
THE STATE OF TENNESSEE REQUIRES A CHLORINE READING OF .2-2.0 AS SAFE DRINKING WATER. TO MEET THESE GUIDELINES, THEY REQUIRE EVERY HYRANT AND DEAD END IN THE SYSTEM TO BE FLUSHED YEARLY. RUD COMPLIES WITH THESE REQUIREMENTS AND WE ALSO RANDOMLY CHECK ALL DEAD ENDS TO ENSURE THAT YOUR CHLORINE READING IS BETWEEN .8 AND 1.8 AS IS OUR PERSONAL STANDARD.
DURING A CHLORINE CHECK IF THE READING IS LOW (.2-.8) RUD PERSONNEL WILL OPEN UP THE NEAREST HYDRANT OR DEAD END AND PULL FRESH WATER FROM OUR TANK INTO YOUR MAIN LINE UNTIL WE GET A READING OF 1.0-1.8.
TO COMPLETE A 811 CALL, CAN YOU MARK LINES PAST THE METER?
NO, RUD GOES TO THE METER ONLY. WHEN A METER IS INSTALLED, IT IS PLACED ON THE PROPERTY LINE AND IT IS THE CUSTOMERS RESPONSIBLITY TO RUN THE LINE FROM THE METER TO THE LOCATION IT IS SERVICING. AS LONG AS ALL CROSS-CONNECTION POLICIES ARE ADHERED TO RUD DOES NOT GO PAST THE METER.
DOES A LEAK ON THE UTILITY SIDE OF MY METER EFFECT MY READINGS?
NO, WATER MUST GO THROUGH THE METER FOR THE READING TO BE AFFECTED, BUT A LEAK ON THE UTILITY SIDE WILL AFFECT YOUR WATER PRESSURE THEREFORE, IF YOU NOTICE A LOWERING OF PRESSURE IN YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CHECK YOUR METER FOR A LEAK BUT DON’T SEE IT MOVING, PLEASE STILL CONTACT THE OFFICE SO WE CAN LOOK ON OURSIDE OF THE METER FOR A LEAK.
MY USAGE IS UNEXPLAINABLY HIGH DO YOU THINK THE METER IS BAD?
NO, WHEN A METER GOES BAD IT STOPS RECORDING IT DOES NOT INCREASE READINGS. OUR METERS ARE OPERATED BY A TURBIN THAT IS SPUN BY WATER PRESSURE; EACH TURN OPERATES THE DIAL ON THE TOP OF THE METER. WHEN A METER GETS OLD OR BAD THE TURBIN GETS STUCK OR WEARS OUT AND THE WATER GOES AROUND IT AND BYPASSES THE TURBIN THIS ALLOWS WATER TO GO BY UNRECORDED.
THIS BECOMES A LOSS TO THE COMPANY AND GOES AGAINST THE STATE OF TENNESSEE GUIDLINES FOR UNACCOUNTED WATER LOSS SO RUD CHANGES METERS RANDOMLY TO REDUCE THIS LOSS.
WHY ARE YOU PAINTING THE ROADS WITH WHITE HYDRANTS?
EACH OF OUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS HAVE INCREASED THEIR RATINGS TO HELP LOWER LOCAL HOME INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND OTHER BENEFITS. ONE OF THE CHECK POINTS ON THIS RATING SCALE WAS HAVING ALL HYDRANTS IN EACH DISTRICT IDENTIFABLE SO THEY CAN BE EASILY SPOTTED IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION (DAY/NIGHT).
IF YOU HAVE A MARKING WITHIN 1000 FEET OF YOUR HOME YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR HOME INSURANE PROVIDER AND REPORT IT SO THEY CAN APPLY A DISCOUNT TO YOUR COVERAGE.
WHY ARE YOU PUTTING UP POSTS AND BLUE MARKINGS ON THE ROADS?
VALVES ARE A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF ANY WATER SYSTEM; THEY ALLOW US TO DIRECT WATER TO WHERE IT IS NEEDED AND STOP WATER SO A REPAIR CAN BE MADE.
IN THE LAST YEAR RUD HAS BEEN TRYING TO INCREASE EFFICIANCY IN LOWEING WATER OUTAGE TIME AND DIRECTING WATER CORRECTLY TO ENSURE WATER QUALITY. ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WE HAD WAS DIFFICULTY LOCATING VALVES THAT WERE GETTING RUN OVER BY THE MOWERS AND COVERED BY ROAD CONSTRUCTION. RUD PERSONNEL HAS LOCATED, MAPPED, GPS’D AND MARKED ALL VALVES IN OUR SYSTEM TO TRY AND DECREASE THESE PROBLEMS AND LOWER COST IN REPAIRING THESE DAMAGES.