Possible causes of rusty water in the City’s water main include water main breaks, fire-fighting, and construction. Possible causes of rusty water on customer premises include bad plumbing (galvanized) or a bad heater.
To troubleshoot the cause of your rusty water, try running your water for 20 minutes. If it is still rusty, check with some of your neighbors to see if theirs is rusty also. If not, it could be your plumbing. Check to see if you have galvanized plumbing; this could be your problem. If your water has not cleared up after running tap water for 20 minutes, or if your neighbors’ water is rusty as well, call 311.
Possible causes for low water pressure in the City’s water main include major leaks, major fire-fighting, maintenance activities, and/or construction. Low pressure on customer premises could be caused because the main valve at the water meter is off or partially off, screens on faucets are plugged, or there are plumbing issues.
Have low pressure at home?
If the low pressure is at ALL the faucets throughout the house, check your main valve. This will be located next to your water meter, usually where your water service comes into the house. This valve is turned counter-clockwise to open. If all your faucets have little or no pressure and your main valve is on, call 311. If you have low pressure on a certain faucet, there may be a separate valve under the sink that has been partially closed, or the screen on the end of your faucet may need to be cleaned or replaced. Sometimes the faucet itself may need repaired or replaced.
The City maintains the water line up to and including the service valve at the street. This valve is usually located in the right of way, or within the area between the sidewalk and curb (parkstrip). Any leak beyond this valve (commonly known as a curb stop) is up to the property owner to maintain.
If you think you have a leak, but are not certain on which side of the curb stop it is, or if you see water running in the street or a fire hydrant that has been hit, call 311.
A leak in the plumbing inside your home may cause an unusually high water and sewer bill. If this is a concern for you, take a look at our resource on how to find and fix water leaks.