Calendar  ⋅  Departments  ⋅  Documents  ⋅  Employment  ⋅  Maps  ⋅  News  ⋅  Online Services  ⋅  Projects

Water Utility FAQs

Pima County Regional Wastewater FAQs

Water Quality

Water hardness is the measure of calcium and magnesium, while salinity is the measure of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

No. Oro Valley Water Utility strives to provide a safe and reliable water supply that meets all federal and state regulations. Adding a water treatment system to your home is a personal preference.

Should you choose to add a water treatment system, it is important to follow manufacturer's specifications on cleaning and maintenance to avoid any potential water quality problems that may be caused by lack of maintenance or improper cleaning.

No. Oro Valley Water Utility does not add fluoride to the drinking water system. Some naturally occurring fluoride may be present due to the minerals in the aquifer.

A CCR is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to be prepared each year for public water systems. This report provides information on water sources, levels of detected contaminants, and shows compliance with drinking water rules. These reports are posted on the Oro Valley Water Utility website. A post card is mailed to all customers before the end of July each year letting customers know that the latest report is available on the website.

Chlorine is added to water in small amounts for disinfection. Like other water providers, Oro Valley Water Utility is required to maintain a detectable disinfectant residual in the distribution system to protect the public water system. Higher temperatures in the summer months can cause a more distinct chlorine taste and smell in the water.

This is most often caused by very tiny air bubbles in the water which will typically clear up after a few minutes as the air escapes to the atmosphere. The air is not harmful to health or plumbing. One option is to keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator which allows time for the air bubbles to clear.

The pink growth or stain on bathroom fixtures is the result of a mold or a bacterium, specifically, Serratia marcescens. The mold is present in the air. Mold and bacteria grow wherever there is a warm, moist or humid environment, like a tub or showerhead. Regular cleaning with bleach or a cleaner that removes mildew will clear the mold. Wipe away standing water to reduce growth.

Copper plumbing may cause bluish colored water. When water stands in copper pipe, the water may absorb some of the copper, making it appear blue. This is most common when the pipe is new. This is not harmful to health or plumbing and should gradually disappear over several months.

It’s necessary to flush fire hydrants to maintain water quality. High velocity water helps clean and scour the interior of the pipes. It flushes accumulated sediments out of the system, removes stale water and restores chlorine residual. It also ensures the operability of the fire protection system.

Water hardness in the Oro Valley Water Utility service area ranges from 36 ppm to 270 ppm. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, both calcium and magnesium. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves small amounts of these naturally-occurring minerals and carries them into the groundwater supply.

Hardness does not pose a health risk and is not regulated by state or federal agencies. In fact, calcium and magnesium in your drinking water can help ensure you get the average daily requirements for these minerals in your diet.

Hard water can interfere with cleaning tasks, from doing the laundry to washing dishes to taking a shower. Clothes can look dingy and feel rough and scratchy. Dishes and glasses get spotted and a film may build up on shower doors, bathtubs, sinks and faucets. Hard water can be treated by adding a water softener to laundry and the dishwasher or by installing an ion-exchange system to treat all of your household water. Ion exchange can increase the sodium content of the water, which may pose health concerns for your household.

The following classifications are used to measure hardness in water:

• Soft 0 to 60 parts per million
• Moderately Hard 61 to 120 parts per million
• Hard 121 to 180 parts per million
• Very Hard more than 180 parts per million

You can convert hardness levels in parts per million to hardness in grains per gallon, by dividing the hardness level by 17.1. To obtain the water hardness level in your neighborhood, please call Oro Valley Water Utility at 520-229-5000

This is a very common occurrence in the summer months. Water pipes acclimate to the temperature around them. When our temperatures rise in the summer, water pipes will absorb heat from the ground around them causing the temperature of the water to increase. The water may never be totally cold in the summertime because of the high temperatures.