Where Your Water Comes From
Montgomery County Environmental Services purchases drinking water from the City of Dayton Water Department and then distributes it to customers. Water in our region comes from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, an underground water source that holds about 1.5 trillion gallons of water.
Hard water is caused by dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which can leave behind residue. Montgomery County water is softened to approximately 9 grains per gallon (157 mg/L), and many of our customers do not find it necessary to use a water softener.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals applied to many consumer goods to make them waterproof, stain resistant, or nonstick. PFAS are also used in products like cosmetics, fast food packaging, and a type of firefighting foam called aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) which are used mainly on large spills of flammable liquids, such as jet fuel.
PFAS are classified as contaminants of emerging concern, meaning that research into the harm they may cause to human health is still ongoing. The most commonly studied PFAS are perfuorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA). (Source: Ohio EPA)
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Where does my water come from?
- Montgomery County Environmental Services receives its drinking water from the City of Dayton Water Department. The source of Dayton’s drinking water is the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, which is a ground water aquifer under the influence of surface water.
- Why are we doing this testing?
- As new scientific information on contaminants arise, and improved methods of testing are developed, the list of components we test for to ensure the highest quality of water increases. In the most recent list of contaminants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that are being tested for, there is a group called Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Testing from the City of Dayton has shown some of these chemicals are present in the source water.
- What are Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)?
- Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used in many industrial applications and consumer products such as carpeting, waterproof clothing, upholstery, food paper wrappings, personal care products, fire-fighting foams, and metal plating. They have been used in a variety of industries around the globe and have been used in the United States since the 1940s. They are still used today.
- How does PFAS get into drinking water?
- PFAS can enter drinking water at sites where they are made, used, disposed of, or spilled. PFAS can be found in the air near manufacturing facilities and can enter rainwater. PFAS are very mobile and can be transported through rainwater run-off and enter surface water (lakes, ponds, etc.) or seep through the soil and migrate into ground water (underground sources of drinking water). Because PFAS are very long-lasting and are not easily broken down by sunlight or other natural processes, they may remain in the environment for many years.
- Is my water safe to drink?
- What is Montgomery County doing about this issue?
- Montgomery County is learning more about the new landscape surrounding PFAS and working with the City of Dayton moving forward.
- Can I boil my water to reduce the level of PFAS?
- Do not boil your water in an attempt to remove/reduce PFAS. Boiling only increases the concentration of PFAS in water.
- Can I use a water filter or purifier to alleviate the issue? (EPA)
- We recommend contacting the EPA at 1-800-426-4791 for more information about this topic.
To learn more about the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's regulations and guidelines regarding PFAS, click here.
Public Health of Dayton-Montgomery County also has additional information regarding PFAS.To read more, click here.
Chlorine Taste or Smell
Chlorine kills bacteria and other pathogens that cause disease and is added to water systems to protect public health. Montgomery County drinking water consistently meets and exceeds all drinking water quality standards. However, if you dislike the taste of chlorine, you can:
1. Install a filter.
2. Fill a pitcher of water and let it sit for 2-3 hours. The chlorine will dissipate.
3. Add fresh mint, lemon wedges, or fruit to your water.
Under a Boil Advisory? Here's what you should do:
- Throw away uncooked food or beverages or ice cubes if made with tap water during the day of the advisory;
- Keep boiled water in the refrigerator for drinking;
- Rinse hand-washed dishes for a minute in diluted bleach (one tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of tap water) or clean your dishes in a dishwasher using the hot wash cycle and dry cycle.
- Do not swallow water while you are showering or bathing;
- Provide pets with boiled water after cooling;
- Do not use home filtering devices in place of boiling or using bottled water; most home water filters will not provide adequate protection from microorganisms.
- Use only boiled water to treat minor injuries.
- Drink bottled water
Yellow or Brown Discoloration
Your water can become discolored by minerals that accumulate inside pipes. Iron is one such mineral, which can make water appear yellow or brown. Discoloration often occurs when there is increased water flow, such as during a fire emergency or a water main break.
If your water is discolored, give the water system time to settle down. The minerals will dissipate eventually. You can check the water every half hour by running the bath tub faucet. Do not wash laundry when the water is discolored. If you were doing laundry when the water became discolored, do not dry the laundry. Instead, leave the laundry wet and use a product such as Iron-Out or Rust-Out.
Report a Water Quality Concern
If you have any additional water quality concerns, please contact us at (937) 781-2666.