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Keeping it clean: what you can do at home to maintain the high quality of your drinking water.

We take pride in providing you with the highest-quality water that is clean, safe and healthy. But there are steps you can occasionally take at home to ensure the best quality of water possible - especially after we've worked on water mains in your neighborhood or if you've had plumbing repairs.

If you experience discolored water...

Once in a rare while, the water flowing from your tap might not have the crystal-clear quality you take for granted. It's usually a simple explanation, and not a health issue. There are several reasons you might see discolored water in your home.

Learn All About Discolored Water

When it's time to flush the pipes

When it's time to flush the pipes - to flush out the discolored water that can follow water main work, or when you've been gone on a long vacation - follow these steps for the best way to get the clear water flowing again.

Get the Flushing Guide How-To

What you can do at home

Did you know that a few simple maintenance chores can go a long way toward preserving the high quality of your home's drinking water? They're easy to do and don't take much time.

To maintain good water quality in your home, we recommend the following:

  • Always flush all your faucets after returning home from a few days, see our Flushing Guidance page for more information.
  • Regularly clean out the aerators on your faucets
  • Service your water heater annually
  • If you use home water filtration device, be sure to regularly change out the filter and clean and maintain device per manufacturers’ recommendations. Most home-use treatment devices remove chlorine, which makes the filter and the home plumbing downstream of the filter prone to microbial contamination.
  • To reduce environmental microbe growth, be sure to use all toilets in your house daily. Microbes grow faster in stagnant water.
  • Try to use only as much road salt on your property as is necessary. Extra road salt will run off into streams and rivers and can harm aquatic life. The salt also ends up back in your drinking water, as it is difficult to remove.
  • Customers may notice changes in the taste or odor of their drinking water. It is normal to have fluctuations in the chlorine level, and during the spring and fall, naturally occurring algal can cause an earthy or musty taste. These compounds are not harmful but if you are concerned please call 301-206-4002.
  • Colder weather brings cloudy water. As temperatures drop, water can hold more dissolved oxygen, and this may result in cloudy or milky water at the tap. If you fill a clear glass with cloudy water, and it clears from bottom to top, rest assured it is just air and perfectly safe to drink.

Copper pipe pinhole leaks

Nothing lasts forever, and, unfortunately, that applies to the copper plumbing in your home: It's possible for copper pipes to develop pinhole leaks as they age. But WSSC Water is taking steps aimed at preventing that from happening.

Learn More About Pinhole Leaks

Last Modified: February 19, 2021, 12:45 pm EST