Drinking Water Concerns

Columbus Water Works meets or exceeds all State and Federal guidelines to ensure safe and reliable drinking water for you and your family. CWW's laboratory carefully monitors the quality of the drinking water to ensure it meets all regulatory standards, typically taking 225 distribution system samples per month.

Because drinking water is a critical component of households and businesses we are aware that you may sometimes have a question about your water. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions with answers to provide additional information.

Where can I get information about the quality of my water?

You can contact Customer Service for a copy of our Annual Water Quality Report or click here. CWW also compiles an annual Finished Water Analysis that provides additional detailed information about your drinking water. You can request this report from Customer Service as well.

Does CWW fluoridate its water?
Like many utilities, CWW does add fluoride to the treated water to help with dental hygiene and cavity prevention. State regulations allow for a maximum of 4 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water (mg/L). CWW's fluoride level typically runs at less than 1 mg/L.

My water appears discolored or cloudy, or sometime has a strange odor. What should I do?

Check other faucets in your home or business to see if  the problem is coming from all of your taps or just a particular one. You may also want to see if your neighbors are having similar issues - this could indicate whether it is a problem within the system or isolated to your home.

Often if the problem is at the kitchen faucet, it may be the sink trap that's causing the odor and not the water. You can take a glass of water and move away from the sink to see if the odor is still there. If not, it was likely the sink trap.

Cloudy or discolored water can be caused by a variety of things. Sediment in distribution lines sometimes gets stirred up if a water line is disturbed because of a break or through firefighting. Let the water run for at least a minute to see if it clears up. This will flush out any sediment if that's the problem. If the problem is corrision from your private plumbing system in your home or business, running the water for a few minutes should also clear it up. However, if you didn't catch it in time and have stained laundry as a result, CWW can provide a decolorizing agent to remove the stains.

If none of this solves the problem, it could be your pipes (many older homes have galvanized iron pipes that cause discoloration). While CWW is only responsible for the pipes up to the water meter, we'll be happy to test your water if you have concerns and possibly make recommendations on how to solve the problem.

Where do I call to get my water tested?

CWW will test the water of any customer who requests it. Normally, samples for testing will be taken from a point before the water enters the house. Please make these requests through Customer Service. Within 24-hours, a CWW representative will test the water specifically looking at temperature, pH, chlorine level, turbidity, and bacteria level. Turbidity and bacteria analysis must be brought back to the lab and results are usually available within 24 hours. For the other items, results are typically available within a few minutes of testing and can eliminate potential causes of concern. Please ensure that someone is available to be at the location when testing occurs.