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Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Water Quality in Your Home

When water flows from the treatment plant to your tap, many factors in the distribution system and household plumbing can affect your water quality. Follow these tips to ensure the quality of the water that flows through the mains remains the same as it flows from your tap. Learn more by reading our Household Water Quality Guide.


Run cold water taps for two minutes before using water for drinking and cooking. When water hasn't been used for several hours and sits in your pipes for long periods of time, water quality can decline. Instead of running your taps, other household water usage activities are effective methods for flushing pipes and allowing water from the distribution system to enter household pipes. This includes laundry, showering, flushing the toilet and running the dishwasher.

Cold Water Use

Do not use hot tap water for drinking and cooking. Hot water dissolves contaminants and may contain metals, sediment and bacteria that build up in the water heater. If you have household lead sources, hot water can cause lead to release in your drinking water.

Water Filters

Routinely replace filter cartridges. Bacteria and metals can build up in filter cartridges. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for filter replacement. 

Household Plumbing

Replace old household plumbing and potential lead sources. Replace galvanized plumbing with copper pipes and install "lead-free" plumbing fixtures that contain 0.25 percent lead or less. After installation, flush cold water taps for five minutes once a day for three days. Read our guide to identifying household plumbing for more information.

Faucet Aerators

Routinely clean faucet aerators and replace them as needed. Sediment and metals can collect in the aerator screen located at the tip of your faucets.

Water Heaters

Drain your water heater annually. Sediment, bacteria and metals can build up in the water heater tank. This can impact household water quality and water pressure.