Water quality FAQs

Is my water safe?

At Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities, our first and foremost job is to produce and deliver safe drinking water to you and your family.  Our facilities are staffed with state-certified professionals who work diligently to ensure that best management, operational, engineering and financial practices are employed in order to provide high quality and competitively priced products and services to all of our customers.  Those of us involved in managing, producing and delivering drinking water share an obligation to protect public health. When you turn on your tap, you can be confident that you are receiving water that is reliable, great-tasting and meets or exceeds required local, state and federal safety standards.  To learn more about our water quality, please see our annual water quality reports at http://www.volusia.org/services/public-works/water-resources-and-utilities/drinking-water-quality-reports.stml 

Where does my water come from?
Here in Volusia County our primary source of drinking water is the Floridan aquifer. The Floridan aquifer is a lens of water located beneath the bedrock of northeast Florida. Currently all County of Volusia water treatment plants utilize wells to extract ground water from the aquifer.

How do I make a payment?
A list of options for paying your utility bill is listed here.

Why does my water appear milky or cloudy?
A milky or cloudy appearance is usually caused by air bubbles in the water, which pose no health risk. If the water is allowed to sit, the air will dissipate and the water will clear. If the cloudiness does not disappear, please call Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities at 386-822-6465 so that we may investigate.

What are those white flakes in my faucet aerator?
Most of the time white to greenish flakes are calcium deposits that build up in your hot water tank. The best way to control their formation is to flush your hot water tank once a year and keep the hot water temperature in the tank as low as you can.

What causes odor in the hot water?
The most common cause of odor in hot water is the water heater. If your cold water smells fine, check your water heater to ensure that the temperature setting is correct. Water heaters also need to be maintained (see manufacturer’s instructions). Please call Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities at 386-822-6465 if the odor persists or if it is present in both the hot and cold water.

What causes the spots on my dishes?
Spots are caused by hard water, or minerals that remain after the water has evaporated. Spots can be eliminated through use of a dishwasher rinse agent.

Should I buy a water softener?
The hardness of water varies with the water’s source. The choice to buy a softener is an aesthetic one, since hard water is not harmful to health. However, water softeners typically increase the sodium content of the water, a factor that should be considered by people on low-sodium diets.

Should I buy a home filtration unit?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, home treatment units are rarely necessary for health reasons. Most often, water treatment units are used to remove substances that affect the aesthetic qualities of the water. If you do choose to install a home treatment unit, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions, because improperly maintained units can actually cause water quality problems.

Is bottled water cleaner and safer than tap water?
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. Because the Federal Food and Drug Administration regulates contaminants in bottled water and is responsible for providing the same levels of public health protection as public water systems, bottled water is not necessarily cleaner or safer than tap water.

Why do Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities employees open fire hydrants?
Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities conduct regular water system flushing to remove any mineral build-up and sediment from the pipes and also to ensure that water circulates adequately throughout the system. Fire hydrants may also be opened to conduct fire-flow capability tests.

What is added to my water?
Well water is chlorinated for disinfecting requirements to keep the distribution system safe from pathogenic bacteria. At three of our Water Treatment Plants, an orthophosphate chemical is added for lead and copper control and bio-purge chemical is added as a corrosion inhibitor.

Why does water need to be disinfected?
Disinfectants are required because they prevent the spread of germs that cause diseases. Years ago, before disinfectants were used for drinking water, diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery were common. Drinking water disinfection has vastly improved the quality and safety of drinking water.

Why does my water sometimes have a chlorine taste or smell?
Pursuant to state and federal laws, very small amounts of chlorine are added to your water as a disinfecting agent to protect you from disease-causing microorganisms. If you are bothered by the chlorine taste, keep an open pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator; the chlorine will dissipate rapidly if the water is allowed to sit. Water run first thing in the morning might have a chlorine smell. Chlorine is an oxidant and can react with household plumbing during periods of non-use. Running fresh water through the pipes usually solves the problem.

Does my water contain fluoride?
Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities does not add fluoride to our water. However, our water sources naturally contain trace amounts of fluoride.

How can I tell if I have a leak?
Make sure no one is using water. Go outside and look at your water meter. On most meter register heads you will find a small black or red triangle. This triangle is your fine flow indicator. It will turn if any water passes through the meter. Watch that triangle for 4 to 5 minutes. If it doesn't move, you are leak free.

Where is my shutoff valve?
There's no one answer to that question. Look in your garage, or by your hot water tank. It may be located in the crawl space. Sometimes you can find it buried in a box by your foundation. In an emergency, you can shut off the City's valve located in your water meter.

Why do we have boil water notices (BWN)?
Volusia County Water Resources and Utilities only issues a BWN if a line break has occurred or the water pressure has dropped below 20 psi. The water may have been compromised and we want our customers to take the precautions prior to consuming water.

What can I do if I have been issued a boil water notice?
Boil your water for at least one minute at a roiling boil or add eight drops of unscented household bleach to each gallon of water and let it stand at least 30 minutes. Repeat if the water is still cloudy. Do not use this procedure for infant formula. If you prefer, you may used bottled water.

Director
Michael Ulrich
mulrich@volusia.org

West Volusia
386-943-7027

Daytona Beach
386-257-6000

New Smyrna Beach
386-423-3300

Customer Service
386-736-5971

Repairs
Office hours:
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
386-822-6465

Emergency repair service
(after hours and weekends)
800-255-2069