FAQ

To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our customers' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.

How could I have used this much water?

You could possibly have a leaky toilet or faucet that's difficult to detect. Just call the office and we'll work with you to solve the problem.

What do I do if I am experiencing low pressure?

Check your meter and the surrounding area for possible leaks. Next, call our office and report low pressure for your area.

Why is my water discolored?

A repair could have been completed recently allowing air to enter the line, causing the milky look.

What chemicals does our utility district add to the water?

Only chemicals that are approved by the National Safety Foundation for treatment of drinking water.

My water tastes, looks, and smells funny. Is it safe to drink?

All public water systems are required to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.2 mg/L (tested at the end of each line) by state law. Systems that use chloramine as a disinfectant must maintain a level of 0.5 mg/L by state law. Our disinfectant levels are tested daily to ensure safety.

Why does debris come out of the faucet when running hot water?

Most likely your water heater needs to be flushed. CAUTION: Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional to flush your water heater. If you plan on doing this yourself, read the owner's manual to keep from being hurt and or damaging the water heater.

Why do I have a previous balance when I know I sent in my payment?

We may have received it after the due date or we may not have received it at all. Call our office and we will help you solve the problem.

Why Does WJCUD Flush Water Lines and Fire Hydrants?

 

WHY DOES WJCUD FLUSH WATER LINES AND FIRE HYDRANTS?

Residents who notice Water Department crews working at fire hydrants and see water running into the street may think that the Department is ignoring its own philosophy of conserving our water resources. The process of periodically "flushing" water lines through the use of fire hydrants, however, is an important preventive maintenance activity. Although it may appear to waste water, this process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and allowing us to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers.

We typically flush from our larger water mains first, and then move to smaller water mains. The flushing route is carefully planned, and valves are opened and closed to control the direction of the water flow. Flushing the water system on a routine basis removes sediment from lines and keeps the entire distribution system "refreshed". The Water Department maintains over 500 miles of water lines throughout its service area.

As a result of the line flushing process, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and air and does not affect the safety of the water. If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been flushing in your neighborhood, clear the pipes in your own home by running all water faucets for a minute or two.

This same philosophy of water line preventive maintenance is one that you should use in your own home to ensure the quality of water inside your home. Your home's water heater should be drained and flushed on a regular basis, according to manufacturers’ recommendations, to keep it working effectively and efficiently.

Also, if you go out of town and there is no water use in your home for a week or more, when you return it's always a good idea to run all your faucets for a minute or so before using the water.

This ensures that you don't use any stagnant water that may have developed in your home's pipes while you were away. Water your house plants with this potentially stagnant water so it’s not wasted.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS –

• Why does the water system need to be routinely flushed?

• What should I do when I see city crews flushing hydrants in my area?

• What should I do after the flushing?

• Why does my water look funny after hydrant flushing?

• Won’t flushing hydrants also cause problems by "stirring-up" sediment up in the water?

• What can water users do about temporary disturbances that may accompany flushing activities?

• Is it OK to drink sediment-laden or discolored water during temporary disturbance events?

• Is systematic flushing of distribution systems something "new" or is this a common water utility practice?

• What are the benefits of a flushing program?

• What about flushing for non-routine water quality problems such as a known contamination event?

• How is the flushing program related to hydrant testing by the fire departments?

Q: Why does the water system need to be routinely flushed?

A: The District’s treated water distribution system is a complex network of pipes and storage tanks where sediment or deposits may naturally accumulate over time. If not removed, these materials may cause water quality deterioration, taste and odor problems or discoloration of the water. Water may also stagnate in less-used parts of the distribution system. This can result in degraded water quality, that is why in some areas we may use automatic flushing units that come on usually early in the A.M. and shut off after in an hour or so.The normal flow of water through the system will reduce some, but not all of these accumulation and stagnation problems over time, thus supplemental measures are periodically needed to clear out the system. Systematic flushing of fire hydrants in a unidirectional fashion is an effective way to accomplishing this needed cleaning.

Q: What should I do when I see city crews flushing hydrants in my area?

A: If you see a city crew flushing hydrants on your street or in your neighborhood, avoid running tap water, your washing machine or the dishwasher until the flushing is complete. If you see hydrant flushing crews working in the area, please drive carefully and treat them like any other construction crew. DRIVE SAFELY.

Q: What should I do after the flushing?

A: If the tap water is used during flushing, it could come out full of sediment and discoloration. If you encounter discolored water, shut the water off and wait several minutes. After waiting, check the clarity by running cold water for a few minutes allowing new water to work its way into your pipes. If not, wait a few more minutes and check again. In some cases, you may experience slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.

Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times. Wait until the water is clear from the tap, and then wash a load of dark clothes first.

If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens for trapped debris.

Q: Why does my water look funny after hydrant flushing?

A: When a hydrant is opened, there will always be temporary incidences of discolored water containing fine sediment particles. There is no health hazard associated with discolored water.

Allow a few hours for discoloration to dissipate. To verify the water has settled allow your cold water tap to run for a few minutes. If the discoloration persists for more than twenty-four (24) hours please contact our office at 228-872-3898 (after hours, weekends and holidays).

Q: Won’t flushing hydrants also cause problems by "stirring up" sediment in the water?

A: While the long-term benefits of systematic flushing are well-documented, individual flushing activities may cause temporary disturbances in the water system. These could include water with sediments or discoloration, or temporary disruption of service.

Q: What can water users do about temporary disturbances that may accompany flushing activities?

A: Running several cold water taps at full force for a short period will usually flush out sediment laden or discolored water. A general recommendation is to flush for up to 10-minutes. If the water is not clear, wait for half an hour before flushing for up to 10-minutes again. Running water in a garden hose is often an effective way to flush, as the water can also be used for landscape watering. If the water hasn’t cleared at this point, call 228-872-3898 (after hours,

weekends and holidays) for further assistance. Clothing should not be laundered during such events as clothing may be stained. It is also best not to use hot water until the water has cleared to avoid drawing sediment into the water heater.

Q: Is it OK to drink sediment-laden or discolored water during temporary disturbance events?

A: It is recommended that water users wait until the water has cleared before using it for potable purposes.

Q: Is systematic flushing of distribution systems something "new" or is this a common water utility practice?

A: The procedure is considered a best management practice for distribution system water quality protection and maintenance and is commonly used by water systems nation-wide.

Q: What are the benefits of a flushing program?

A: The development and implementation of the District’s flushing program can improve both water quality and hydraulics. It can improve water quality by restoring disinfectant residual, reducing bacterial regrowth, dislodging biofilms, removing sediments and deposits, controlling corrosion, restoring flows and pressures, eliminating taste and odor problems, and reducing disinfectant demand throughout the distribution system. These efforts should prolong the life expectancy of the distribution system.

Q: What about flushing for non-routine water quality problems such as a known contamination event?

A: Having a flushing program also provides capability for rapid and effective removal of potentially harmful water if a contamination event were to be detected in the District’s drinking water system. This could represent a key component for emergency response to potential accidental or willful contamination of the city’s potable water system.

Q: How is the flushing program related to hydrant testing by the fire departments?

A: The Jackson County Volunteer Fire Department, along with other fire departments in Jackson County also conduct routine "flow testing" of fire hydrants, an important effort toward assuring hydrant effectiveness for fire control purposes. Such testing is a separate effort, independent from the Water Department’s flushing program.

If you have any further questions you call, 228-872-3898 ext.311 or email bgoff@wjcud.com.

What Am I paying for in my monthly Utility bill?

From time to time the District likes to remind customers which repairs are covered by the District. On the sewer side, the District maintenance of collection lines begins at the invert (the point where your service line ties into the sewer main). If you have an active residential account and have a grinder pump, the District-owned equiptment is eligible for many repairs at no charge. Pumps, hoses, and control parts are generally repaired with no charge, if failure is not homeowner caused. Often, a red light is caused by foreign materials in the station. The District will clean the control floats of traditional waste build-up at no charge--- provded the last such event has not been more recent than a year prior. Customers must be charged for removal of items that should not be placed in the sewer system. Most of these "Charge" items are toys, cleaning utensils or personal hyginene disposables that should be placed in the waste basket. On the water side. your water is tested weekly and treated, as needed. The following charts show how your fees are used to pay for sewer treatment, loan repayment, payroll, capital improvements, reserves, operations and maintenance.

Where does my water come from?

Like most of Mississippi, we use underground sources for our drinking water.

Our twelve water wells draw water from the Pascagoula and Lower Graham Ferry Aquifers around 800 feet below the surface. All West Jackson County Utility District wells are inspected daily by our certified operators or managers. Each year our customers receive our Consumer Confidence Report in the mail. This report informs the customer about continual water safety monitoring we provide. A copy of the most recent report is always available at our office.

As of 2013, the district is serving over 7100 water connections.

What is Ground Water?

It's water that lies beneath the earth's surface. Ground water is stored in aquifers. These are underground rock formations, caverns, and beds of sand and gravel. Water is pumped out of them by wells. We rely on ground water. It's the source for many public water utilities and private wells. Protecting ground water is everone's business. It's the only way to ensure clean, plentiful ground water--a key to our health and way of life.

Ground water is part of the water cycle--nature's system for renewing water supplies. This includes condensation, precipitation, evaporation, infiltration, and surface runoff.

Ground water is a fragile resource. It can be easily polluted, very slow moving, difficult to monitor, hard to clean and slow to recharge. Overuse and pollution put our ground water supplies at risk.

Threats to ground water come from many sources. They include home septic systems, household hazardous wastes and overuse of water. You can help protect ground water and your health from these dangers.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT HOME AND IN YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Protect water; limit use of household and garden chemicals.
  • Never pour chemicals or paint down the sink or storm drain, or on the ground.
  • Bring all hazardous waste (such as motor oil) to a hazardous waste collection center.

Get involved with community efforts to protect & conserve water.

Where does the water go...........?

The West Jackson County Utility District collects and transports sewer from over 6000 connections. Ultimately, all wastewater collected in the district is transported by this utility district to the Jackson County Utility Authority for treatment. As of 2008 we operate forty sewer pumping stations moving over 2.1 million gallons of wastewater each day.

Remember: During a power outage, there is a very good chance some pumping capacity will be lost. If you are a customer with a residential grinder pump, and your power is out, you should use household water conservatively until power is restored.