Frequently Asked Questions - Water Quality

Is Fluoride added to MAWC water?

MAWC does not add fluoride to the water that is produced at our three (3) water treatment plants.                

The water that MAWC receives from Greater Johnstown Water Authority to supply the Ligonier service area does contain fluoride.

Why does the water have a “chlorine” smell in the winter time?

MAWC adds chlorine to the drinking water to prevent water-borne disease outbreaks such as cholera, typhoid, giardiasis, etc.  The chlorine must remain in the water for its entire journey to your spigot.

In the summertime MAWC combines ammonia with the chlorine to help carry the chlorine over the entire distribution system and reduce taste and odors caused by the warmer water.  In the winter, MAWC eliminates the ammonia and adds only chlorine to the water.  This chlorine eliminates any free ammonia in the system which left unchecked can cause bacterial growth.  This “free” chlorine residual creates the off odors that you smell.

 Is there anything I can do to eliminate the chlorine taste in my water?

Yes, place a pitcher of water in your refrigerator for cool, fresh water anytime.  Chlorine will dissipate with time and the water will taste fresh.  Reverse Osmosis and activated carbon filters are also effective in removing chlorine from water, but choose a reputable vendor and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance.

Why does my drinking water sometimes look cloudy when first taken from a faucet and then clear up?

The cloudy water is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to the gas bubbles in carbonated soft drinks.  AFTER a while, the bubbles rise to the top and are gone.   This type of cloudiness occurs more often in the winter because the colder water holds more dissolved air.

Air can be introduced into the water after pipe repairs or other service disruptions. Call customer service for a main line flush if air is excessive after a leak.

There is a “pink slime” in my shower.  Is it from the water?

No, certain species of airborne bacteria gravitate towards and thrive in a moist environment, such as showers, toilet bowls, sink drains, tiles and dog dishes.  These bacteria are naturally occurring and unattractive, but are generally harmless.  The best way to avoid this problem is to keep the surfaces free from bacterial film through regular cleaning using Lysol or a chlorine-based product.

What are the black spots, rings or lines in toilets and shower stalls?

Mold and mildew grows in places that are continually damp and is treated the same as the pink slime.