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Utilities Water Production Common Questions

1. Do I need a water softener if I am on City water? 

No, because city water is not hard water. Water hardness is a measure of the soap or detergent consuming power of water. Hardness in water is caused by calcium and magnesium ions. Based on the levels of these constituents in our water, it is considered (by industry standards) to be in the range of soft to moderately hard. This is the most desirable range from a consumer standpoint. Water that is too soft makes it very difficult to remove soap from your hands or detergent from your laundry. Extremely soft water also can lead to premature corrosion of metal piping. Water that is excessively hard is undesirable because it requires an increased use of soap or detergent to adequately clean. Extremely hard water also can lead to excessive scaling of pipes and water fixtures. 

2. My dishwashing machine operator's manual says that the amount of dishwashing detergent I need to use depends on the grains per gallon of hardness in the water. What is the hardness of city water? 

City water has 4 to 5 grains per gallon of total hardness. 

3. Can I tell if I have hard water without having tests run for hardness? 

When washing your hands, if the soap does not lather easily, your water is hard. If you have a difficult time rinsing the soap off your hands, the water is soft. If you experience neither of these problems, your water hardness is where it should be. 

4. Milwaukee experienced outbreaks of Cryptosporidium in the drinking water. Should I be concerned about Cape Coral having any outbreaks? 

No, Cryptosporidium occurs mainly in surface water. The City’s water supply is groundwater pumped from wells 700 to 800 feet deep. The depth of the Lower Hawthorn Aquifer and the confining layers of earth above it, help to protect it from this contaminant. The Cryptosporidium problem in Milwaukee was introduced into the water supply from run- off water from cow pastures. Even though we are not at risk for contamination, reverse osmosis treatment is considered the best available treatment technology to remove Cryptosporidium from source water. 

5. Does Cape Coral add fluoride to the city water supply? 

No, we do not add fluoride to our water because fluoride already exists naturally in our groundwater. The RO treatment process used by the City reduces the amount of natural fluoride to a level of 0.62 ppm at your tap. Fluoride at this level will provide some protection from cavities. 

6. We notice a slight chemical taste in the City's water. Can you tell us what this is? 

Where we used to live we had spring water and it was great drinking water. The slight chemical taste that you may notice is probably chlorine. Although chlorine addition is essential to ensure the safety of your drinking water, it can affect the taste of the water. If the community you came from had a higher mineral or contaminant content in the water, it masked or hid the taste of chlorine in your water. This is why our water tastes a little different. You may wish to remove the chlorine by purchasing an inexpensive activated charcoal filter, which you can install on your kitchen sink. If you should chose to do this, please remember to change these filters on a regular basis as recommended by the manufacturer. We also suggest that you keep a gallon of tap water in your refrigerator. Our groundwater is very warm, it is about 80ºF coming out of your tap, and warm water is not as appealing for drinking as cool water. 

7. Do you give tours of your Water Production facility? 

Yes, we are proud of our facility and enjoy giving tours. Because our facility is internationally recognized as a pioneer and one of the leaders in reverse osmosis treatment technology, we have given tours to people from all over the world. We encourage our citizens to schedule a tour and see where their tap water comes from. Please call 574-0877 at least one week in advance to schedule a tour.