Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Typically the cause is water staying in the water heater too long. This causes the water to turn stagnant. Single handle type water faucets are typically being used in these situations and are not being fully turned to the cold position. This can occur when a water heater is too large for the amount of hot water typically used. It can also occur when the dip tube (cold water inlet) in the water heater deteriorates. Flushing out the water heater will provide an immediate temporary solution. Long term solutions for low usage are to decrease the size of the water heater, or to use more hot water. If the dip tube has deteriorated it must be replaced.
  • Hardness refers to the calcium and magnesium carbonate content. Water hardness in the City of Abilene varies depending on the water source being used. Currently the hardness averages about 240 mg/L calcium carbonate. This equates to about 14 grains per gallon.
  • In order to insure that tap water is safe to drink the Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission set forth regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in drinking water. Our water is below all state and federal primary drinking water maximum contaminant levels (MCL). In addition to being less than federal or state MCLs, the majority of listed contaminants are not detected at all.
  • Regulations require routine monitoring for approximately 75 chemical or radiological substances. Our water is routinely tested for over 170 substances. In addition regulations require routine monitoring for bacteria in the distribution system.
  • Frequency of testing is set forth in the drinking water regulations. Bacterial testing is performed on a daily basis. Chemical testing is performed on a quarterly to annual basis. Radiological testing is performed every four years.
  • Bacteria testing is performed by the City of Abilene Health Department Laboratory. The Texas Department of Health Laboratory performs all required chemical and radiological tests.
  • Yes. The City of Abilene Environmental Laboratory performs bi-weekly analyses of samples taken from the water treatment plants and the distribution system. Approximately 40 substances or parameters are measured to assure the quality of the drinking water in the system. Area lakes are sampled monthly with approximately 20 substances measured. The water treatment plants also do continuous testing of the water as it is being treated.