Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my water off?
If your account is delinquent and you have not made payment arrangements or if you have had a returned check, your service may have been disconnected. Water service will be reinstated during normal business hours following the receipt of payment in full of the account balance and a reconnect charge of $50.00. A reconnect charge of $150.00 will be required if service is reconnected after hours, on weekends or holidays.
If your water is off due to a main break, the length of time you will be without water depends on the work needed to repair the break. Call Customer Service at 770-479-1813 for an estimated time when water service will be restored.
Why wasn’t I notified in advance of my water being shut off?
When routine maintenance or new installation on water lines is scheduled, there will be road signs posted on the streets that will be affected. This will notify you if your water service will be interrupted. However, in emergency situations, individual notification is not given before the water is turned off.
Why is my water “cloudy” or “milky” colored?
When water has been shut off at the main, this can cause air in the lines. The color that you are seeing is probably due to this. You can test to see if this could be the cause by filling a glass with water and letting it sit for a short time. If the water clears up, there is air in the line. To remove air from the line, turn on the cold water taps in your house and let them run for 5-10 minutes. If you still have a problem, call Customer Service at 770-479-1813.
What are the white particles in my water?
This may be due to a faulty dip tube in your hot water heater. Sometimes the plastic in the tube breaks down and this can clog your faucets and showerheads. You can find more information on the Internet. One web site is www.homerepair.about.com. (Subject: Water Heaters)
My water is “muddy”. How can I clear it up?
Water that customers usually refer to as “muddy” water, may look like mud but is actually rust or iron oxides. Most of Cherokee County Water’s distribution system is comprised of ductile iron pipes. When water stands in public water mains or in a customer’s galvanized service line or internal plumbing, it may naturally dissolve the iron. If your water suddenly becomes rusty, it may be caused by fire hydrant flushing or construction in the area.
If at anytime the water is deemed unsafe to drink, you will be notified immediately by the water system with guidance from the State of Georgia Department of Natural Resources via various forms of media. Although harmless, discolored water may leave stains when washing clothes. If you are experiencing discolored water, you may want to postpone doing laundry for a short time until the water becomes clear. As with all of your family’s home and health decisions, common sense is always the best approach. Even though discolored water is harmless, if you don’t feel comfortable using it during short periods of discoloration, we certainly understand.
If discolored water is noticed at your tap, turn your cold water on and run it for a few minutes to see if it clears up. If this doesn’t correct the problem within five to ten minutes, please contact Cherokee County Water Authority at 770-479-1813 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. After hours, please call 770-479-2911.
Who is responsible for the water lines from the meter to my house?
The CCWSA owns and operates water mains in the public right-of-way (up to and including the water meter). We are NOT responsible for private pluming systems or the service line between the water meter and your home.
Why has my water bill doubled?
A high bill might be an indication of a leak or a misread meter. We recommend two tests to determine if there is a problem.
Compare the current reading on your water bill against the reading that is on your meter. If the reading on the meter is smaller than the reading on your bill, we have misread your meter. If this is the case, please contact Customer Service at 770-479-1813 and we will have someone verify the reading. Your bill will be adjusted to the new reading.
Two Hour Leak Test
At a convenient time for you, go out to your water meter and write down the reading on your meter. During this time, make sure that no one is using water in the house. If you have an icemaker, make sure that it is turned off. Wait 2 HOURS and go back and read the meter again. If the numbers have changed AT ALL, you could possibly have a leak. If you are unable to locate a leak, you might want to consider contacting a plumber. CCWSA is not responsible for leaks occurring between the meter or inside the home or business.
You can check to see if your toilet is leaking by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the toilet is leaking, the food coloring will show in the toilet bowl in about ½ hour.
Always keep in mind that if you have been watering your lawn or garden, this will cause an increase in your water bill. To determine how much, write down your meter reading before and after you water and calculate how many gallons you used. A rate chart is provided on the Rates and Billing page.
What are the current Watering Guidelines for Cherokee County?
CCWSA customers are required to abide by Georgia state law O.C.G.A 12-5-7 non-drought outdoor water use schedule which allows outdoor watering for the purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants only between the hours of 4 P.M. and 10:00 A.M.; provided, however, that this limitation shall not create any limitation upon the following outdoor activities:
(A) Commercial raising, harvesting or storing of crops; feeding, breeding, or managing livestock or poultry; the commercial production or storing of feed for use in the production of livestock, including, but not limited to, cattle, calves, swine, hogs, goats, sheep, and rabbits, or for use in the production of poultry, including, but not limited to, chickens, hens, ratites, and turkeys; producing plants, trees, fowl, or animals; or for commercial production of aquacultural, horticultural, dairy, livestock, poultry, eggs, and apiarian or as otherwise defined in O.C.G.A. 1-3-3;
(B) Capture and reuse of cooling system condensate or stormwater in compliance with applicable local ordinances and state guidelines;
(C) Reuse of gray water in compliance with O.C.G.A. 31-3-5.2 and applicable local board of health regulations;
(D) Use of reclaimed wastewater by a designated user from a system permitted by the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to provide reclaimed wastewater;
(E) Watering personal food gardens;
(F) Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf in landscapes, golf courses, or sports turf fields during installation and for a period of 30 days immediately following the date of installation;
(G) Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses;
(H) Hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container;
(I) Use of water withdrawn from private water wells or surface water by an owner or operator of property if such well or surface water is on said property;
(J) Watering horticultural crops held for sale, resale, or installation;
(K) Watering athletic fields, golf courses, or public turf grass recreational areas;
(L) Installation, maintenance, or calibration of irrigation systems; or
Is there lead in my water?
Lead is not in the public water supply when it leaves our treatment plants. We do not have lead in our services lines in our system. However, if your plumbing lines have lead solder or fixtures containing lead, your water could contain lead if it sits in your lines over a long period of time.
Why are colored flags or paint marks on my lawn?
We are required by law to mark our water lines any time a contractor will be excavating near our water mains. Flags or paint marks show the location of utility lines in the area.
There are different colors to indicate the different utilities.
Blue = Water
Green = Sewer
Red = Electric
Yellow = Gas
Orange = TV
Why does my water smell like rotten eggs or rotting materials?
This may be caused by a couple of things:
One possible cause may be sulfate-reducing bacteria in the hot water heater. These are non-harmful bacteria that can grow in extreme temperatures. They are even found in some hot springs. These bacteria take sulfate and change it into hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell). This can be remedied by turning the water heater all the way up for 24 hours and then flushing it and returning the hot water heater to its normal temperature. Caution: Be extremely careful of scalding water during the 24-hour period. This water will burn you very quickly. Extra caution should be used around children.
Unpleasant smells can also come up from drains and be mistaken for being in the water. Test for this by checking to see if it is actually an odor in the water. Fill a clean glass with the water and then take it away from the sink and smell the water in the glass right over the edge. If there is no smell, it may be the drain. Test this again by smelling close to the drain and see if objectionable odors are noticed. If so, one remedy is to clean out the trap under the sink or simply use a commercial drain cleaner or a small amount of bleach in the drain overnight. If customers are not comfortable with any of the above-mentioned remedies, a licensed plumber may also be contacted. If the water itself has an odor, please contact CCWSA’s Water Lab at (770) 470-2911 for further assistance.
Why do my toilets and sinks have black or pink rings or spots on them?
This can be caused by mold and mildew spores that may be present in the air. These spores land in moist environments and form colonies that typically are colored pink or black. These organisms are not in the water, but in the air and are not harmful. The remedy for this is to minimize these spores in the air by using allergy free filters, keeping lids down on toilets, sealing toilet tank lids, cleaning humidifiers and fixing leaky faucets.
What steps/actions has CCWSA taken to minimize sewage spills?
It remains the CCWSA goal to have no spills at all. This is the goal we work towards every day. CCWSA has a rigorous grease management program that targets restaurants and other businesses that use or generate large amounts of grease that may enter the sewer system. It is more difficult, however, to regulate the activities of the average homeowner who may be inclined to dump waste cooking oil down the drain.
CCWSA is making efforts to educate the public so the negative impact on the sewer system is minimized. We have also experienced vandalism of the sewer system where persons unknown will open a manhole and drop in foreign materials such as rocks, bricks, lumber, sticks, etc. that can cause a severe negative impact on the system. It is difficult to catch such vandals in the act. CCWSA employs full-time crews tasked with maintenance and inspection of our wastewater collection and conveyance system. Sewer rights-of-way are mowed for ease of access and to prevent, to the extent possible, plant root intrusion into sewer lines. CCWSA has a portable sewer camera system with which we are able to televise real-time conditions of a given section of sewer main and assess what, if any, repairs are necessary. CCWSA has a portable water jet apparatus that enables quick and efficient clearing of line stoppages, such as those caused by grease.
Does CCWSA report sewage spills to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division? CCWSA reports all of its spills, regardless of volume, to EPD and pays the fines EDP assesses for these occurrences. EPD defines a “major” spill as a volume greater than 10,000 gallons.