Water & Sewer - Water Quality FAQ

An Essential Service for Our Community

Island Tower

Frequently asked questions about water quality:

Q. How can I find out what's in my water?

A. Call your local water company and ask them to send you a copy of their most recent water quality report.  The report should include a list of the contaminants they must monitor and the standards they must meet.

Q. Are there standards for taste, odor and appearance?

A. Yes, public water utilities test and monitor drinking water to meet two types of standards.  The primary standards, called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), are set to protect human health and the secondary standards aesthetic consideration such as taste, odor and appearance.  Health and aesthetic aspects are the driving force behind drinking water regulations.

Q. What should I do if I'm worried about my drinking water?

A. In most cases when there are problems, your utility will make the correction before you even know there's a problem.  Sometimes, though, problems do arise in a single house or neighborhood.  If you have good reason to suspect a problem, and are serviced by Okaloosa County Water and Sewer, call us at (850) 651-7171 for a home water analysis.

Q. Does using a home water treatment device guarantee that my water is safe?

A. No, EPA does not recommend home treatment devices as a substitute for public water treatment because of the difficulty in monitoring their performance.  Home treatment devices are not tested or regulated by the federal government.  Some, however, are tested by independent laboratories.  If you want to use a water treatment device, carefully choose one according to the water conditions in your area.  Also be aware that a device needs to be properly maintained or it could cause water quality problems.

Q. Will using a home water treatment device make my water safer or healthier?

A. Not necessarily.  Some people use home water filters to improve the taste, smell and/or appearance of their tap water, but it may not make the water safer or healthier to drink.

Q. Can home treatment devices ever do more harm than good?

A. Yes.  If regular maintenance is not performed properly, water quality problems can result.

Q. Is bottled water safer or healthier to drink than tap water?

A.  Not necessarily.  The safety of bottled water and tap water initially depends on the source of the water.  Monitoring and source protection, treatment and testing ultimately determine the quality of the finished product.  For the first time, the 1996 Reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that bottled water be monitored and tested in the same rigorous manner that tap water has been subject to for years. The Federal Drug Administration oversees bottled water, but it is not subject to the same rigorous monitoring and testing as tap water.Water & Sewer -