If you see water suddenly flowing in the street, in your yard, or in areas not commonly associated with flowing water, please call the Service Authority's Customer Service Department at (703) 335-7950 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or after hours at (703) 335-7990 to the Operations and Maintenance Division. We will dispatch someone to check out the cause of the running water and respond accordingly. If it is determined to be a water leak in a water main or service line up to and through the water meter box, the Service Authority personnel will repair the leak and any damage caused by the leak. Should the water leak be outside the meter box, between the meter box and your residence or business or inside a building, the repair will be the customer's responsibility.
Low pressure is generally described as not enough water in the system. Low pressure may often be confused with low flow. Low pressures or flows can be caused by: 1. Pipe restrictions, such as your main valve being partially closed, or the screens on individual faucets needing cleaning. 2. A malfunctioning pressure reducing valve (PRV). Pressure at your point-of-use is determined by the difference between the elevation of the water level in the water tank serving your service area and the elevation of your service connection. The higher your service connection, the less your pressure. After you have investigated to see if any of the above causes are restricting your flows or pressure, please call the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990 to schedule a pressure check at your service. High pressure is generally described as too much pressure causing your internal plumbing lines to bang, your hot water pressure relief valve to trip, or wearing out faucet washers very quickly. A malfunctioning pressure reducing valve (PRV) can cause both high and low pressure problems. PRV's are the homeowner's responsibility to install and/or maintain. The plumbing code recommends PRV's be installed where the service pressure is 80 psi or more. Since the pressure at your point-of-use is determined by the difference between the elevation of the water level in the water tank serving your service and the elevation of your service connection, the higher the difference between these levels, the higher your pressure.Please call the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990 to schedule a pressure check at your service.
Discolored water is water containing an accumulation of mineral deposits which has precipitated from the water. These depositions are usually iron, manganese, or calcium deposits.
Discolored water poses no health concerns. It is free from harmful bacteria and safe for most household uses. You should not do laundry until the discoloration ceases since staining on white or light colored clothing is possible. While you can drink the water, it may not taste good. You probably do not want to use it to make baby formula.
Discolored water is usually caused by a sudden change in the normal flow of the water in the mains servicing your connection. This can be caused by turning off main valves, a broken water main, turning on a fire hydrant for fire fighting or filling a water tanker, or pumping problems.
If after allowing your water to run for five (5) to (10) minutes the discoloration has not ceased, please call the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990 and report the problem.
The pink stain that can sometimes form on bathroom fixtures is likely Serratia marcescens, a bacteria which is found naturally in soil, food, and in animals. Serratia, which produce the characteristic red pigment, thrive on moisture, dust, and phosphates. These bacteria are believed to be airborne and multiply in damp environments. Cleansers containing bleach are effective in killing the bacteria and getting rid of the stain.
Customers whose service is located on dead-end streets such as a cul-de-sac, or the end of a parking lot, from time to time may experience odorous water. This is caused by the water becoming still and allowing mineral deposition to build up. These minerals, such as iron and manganese, sometimes cause taste and odor problems to develop.
To remedy this condition, the Service Authority's personnel will flush the water to remove the mineral buildup and freshen the water. Please call the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990 to schedule an appointment to investigate this condition.
If you find the cover on a meter pit missing or notice it is loose, please call the Service Authority's Customer Service Department at (703) 335-7950 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or after hours, weekends and holidays to our Emergency Dispatch Office at (703) 335-7990 to report the problem.
A charge of $50.00 will be assessed to the customer's account each time a 5/8" x 3/4" meter is tested for accuracy, at the customer's request, and the meter is found to be registering accurately. For meters larger than 3/4", the testing charge will be the actual cost of testing the meter plus 15 percent. According to the American Water Works Association, a meter is considered to be accurate if it measures between 98.5% - 101.5% at three separate flow rates. If a water meter is found to be over registering, the meter will be replaced and the customer's account adjusted. If the water meter is under registering, a replacement meter will be installed at no adjustment to the customer. Customers requesting meter tests are encouraged to be present when the meter is tested.
Sewage Back-ups Are Rare, But...
Fortunately, main line sewage back-ups don’t happen very often –- less than 20 times each year. That’s not a bad record considering the almost 1,100 miles of sewer mains and 85,000 lateral connections the Service Authority operates and maintains. But, it’s important to know in advance what to do if it happens at your house.
What to Do First?
If a sewage back-up occurs, stop using any water in the house. Then take immediate steps to seal sink, tub and floor drains. Plug toilets with something like a string mop or wad of rags. Try to determine if the blockage is in your household plumbing alone, or if it is in the main sewer line. Call neighbors and ask if they are experiencing any back-up or slowness in their drains. If so, the problem may be in the main sewer line.
Next... Call Us....24-hrs. (703) 335-7990
If in doubt, call us. The Service Authority has 24-hour response to emergencies like this.
Consider Getting Insurance
You may wish to purchase a rider on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy that would protect you in case of sewage back-ups. Such coverage would pay for repairs and replacement of items destroyed by flooding far beyond the courtesy clean-up offered by the Service Authority. If you live in an area where a sewage back-up has occurred before, you may wish to consider getting this type of insurance; usually for only about twenty-five dollars per year.
If you have identified a sanitary sewer manhole cover as being loose, broken, or missing, please notify the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990.
Your sewer service line (lateral) may have a cleanout near your property line. This cleanout generally indicates the limit of responsibility between the customer and the Service Authority. If your cleanout or a cleanout you see is missing a cap or cover, please call the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990.
The Service Authority maintains certain grinder pumps that were installed within approved projects; some projects funded by federal funding and other projects sponsored by the Service Authority. These pumps, manufactured by Environment One (E-1), are the only grinder pumps maintained by the Service Authority. The list of pumps maintained by the Service Authority is kept in the Operations and Maintenance Emergency Dispatch Office. Other pumps located throughout the County that were not installed as part of an approved project are not the responsibility of the Service Authority.
If your residence is serviced by one of these pumps and your alarm is activated, please call the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990 and report the problem.
The Service Authority operates more than fifty (50) sewage lift stations located throughout Prince William County. Occasionally, due to atmospheric conditions, sewage odors will permeate low areas, especially during days with high humidity. Should these odors continue, please call the Service Authority's O&M Division at (703) 335-7990 and report the odor problem.