Following are some of our most frequently asked questions and the answers to those questions. If you have a question that does not appear below it may be one that others are curious about themselves but for some reason it didn’t come to mind when preparing this page…please let us know.
Fluoride exists naturally in water sources and is derived from fluorine, the thirteenth most common element in the Earth’s crust. It is well known that fluoride helps prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has lowered the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water from a range of 0.7-1.2 milligrams per liter to 0.7 milligrams per liter. After approval of the new recommended level by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Sudbury Water District instituted the new level at all of our injection points on May 4, 2015.
The staining that you are noticing is caused by the iron and manganese (minerals) that is found in the water. If you are using a chlorinated dishwashing detergent, the chlorine in this product is causing a breakdown of the natural bacteria that is present in iron (not harmful). The chlorine comes in contact with the water, the minerals in the water react with the chlorine, break down, and are dispersed on the walls of your dishwasher. If you use any type of chlorinated product to clean in your home you may be experiencing these problems in these areas as well. Also, while doing laundry, discoloration of white loads and an appearance of staining on the inside of the washing machine may occur if you are using a chlorinated laundry detergent or chlorox bleach. During the summer months when the demand is extremely high, this problem becomes more prominent. With the continuous flow of water through the mains, the sediment that normally settles in the pipes is disrupted and is pushed throughout the system. In addition, with the high demand of water we are required to continuously run all of our wells. Three of these wells require chlorination as measures of treatment. This addition of chlorine with the disruption of the sediment coming through the system is also a potential cause of this staining.
One of the easier solutions is to tell you to stay away from chlorine-based detergents. Simply check the list of ingredients printed on the package and if it contains chlorine, don’t buy that one. There are two product lines that we have been made aware of that are “chlorine-free”; Seventh Generation and Bi-O-Kleen. Both lines carry most of the normal cleaning products needed throughout your household (toilet bowl cleaner, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, etc.) and can be found in most grocery stores. These products are not the only products on the market that do NOT contain chlorine. Just be sure to check the list of ingredients in whatever product you decide to use! For people who have staining and are wondering if there is any way to get rid of it – there are several products that will clean the staining that has already occurred. Ti-Sales, Inc. located at 36 Hudson Road in Sudbury sells a product called Red-B-Gone which will clean the iron and manganese staining. Also, two other convenient and popular resources that have been reported to us to combat the same staining problems are Tang (yes, that yummy orange drink) and Glisten, both found at your local grocery store.
Sudbury has very hard water which means that it has a very high mineral content. These minerals, being very heavy, settle in the water mains. It is important to flush the mains so that the sediment does not build up to levels that could cause damage to the pipes. Flushing is first and foremost used as a means of maintenance; it enables us to check the quality of the pipes, flush sediment buildup from the mains, exercise fire hydrants (making note of any in need of repair), and for bringing fresh water into the system’s dead end. Sediment is not harmful to the normal individual. If you have any type of immune deficiency or your health is compromised in some way, you should check with your doctor regarding a high mineral content in your drinking water.
Normally this is an indication of low pH in the water. The staining is usually noticed in homes with copper plumbing. The low pH water coming in contact with the copper plumbing will cause this type of staining. In most cases we have found that it is due to inexpensive copper fixtures.
A white crust formation is most probably calcium buildup. It is usually remedied easily with a slight adjustment of your hot water tank. Calcium deposits usually form when your hot water levels exceed 140 degrees. Make sure your hot water tank thermostat is below that (in the 130 degree range) and you should have no problems.
There are currently nine wells in operation at the Sudbury Water District. Well #2 and Well #9 are located directly behind our office building at 199 Raymond Road. Well #6 is also located on Raymond Road, just past Feeley Field. Well #4 is located on Warren Road. Well #7 is located on Nobscot Road. Well #5 is located on North Road (near the Concord line). Well #3, Well #8, and Well #10 are all located off of Pratts Mill Road. We are currently trying to get a map attached to this website showing these locations. We are having difficulty getting a full scale map to decrease to the needed size and still remain readable. Sudbury has four storage tanks. There is a 375,000 gallon tank located on Goodman’s Hill Road, a 1 million gallon tank located on Bigelow Drive, and two tanks located on Willis Hill (one 2 million gallon tank and one 3 million gallon tank). Because Sudbury Water District operates under one large distribution system, it would not be possible to pinpoint an individual’s water supply to one specific well. All water eventually mixes within the water mains. In addition, it would depend on which wells were being run. In the fall, winter, and early spring months we generally run two or three wells per day. In the summer months we run all of our wells at all times to keep up with the demand.