Where does the City get its water from?
The City of Augusta water suppply comes from three surface water sources. El Dorado Lake is the primary source, providing roughly 2/3rd of our regular usage under normal circumstances. The remaining 1/3rd comes from Augusta City Lake, and to a lesser extend, Santa Fe Lake.
Why does my water smell or taste funny?
Smell and taste of tap water are impacted by a number of different factors. The source of the water plays a big role. The City typically gets its water from a mixture of three different surface water sources: Augusta City Lake, Santa Fe Lake, and El Dorado Lake. Most of our smell and taste complaints occur when we are pulling from Augusta City Lake and Santa Fe Lake because the overall quality of El Dorado's lake water is better. We add chemicals as part of the treatment process that significantly remove any odor or foul tastes and the water is required to pass bacterial testing and meet EPA guidelines on a daily basis, which it does. We do not receive very many smell or taste complaints, but there could be a number of potential causes.
- Taste and smell sometimes depend on water usage at the customer's homes/business. Low usage can cause water to sit in the water lines for longer periods of time causing the water to become more stale or stagnant and thus, negatively impact the smell and taste.
- Taste and smell are also impacted by the chemicals (i.e. chloramines) used in the treatment process as a water disinfectant. We monitor these chemicals continuously, but there may be variations in the amount of chemicals used depending on the quality of the raw water coming into the treatment plant.
- Sense of taste and smell also vary by person, so some customers may be sensing odors or flavors that others drinking the same water may not. Taste and smell also vary between cities so our water may taste funny if you are accustomed to water provided in other cities.
To improve the taste and smell of your water, try these following fixes:
- Fill a jug of water from your tap and place it in the refrigerator to sit until cold. The colder temperature could make the water taste better.
- Try purchasing and installing a charcoal filter attachment for your tap. These filters are available at your local grocery/department stores.
Does the City add flouride to its drinking water?
No, flouride is not part of Augusta's treatment process.
Why is my water pressure low?
Potential Causes on the City System
Water pressure is impacted by a variety of things, but primarily is based on your proximity to a water tower and the height of tower. Water towers create pressure by elevating large quantities of water into storage tanks high in the air and then releasing the water into the underground pipes that service customers. Pressure comes from the weight and force of the water leaving the tower by pushing downward with gravity.
Arnold tower in the northeast quadrant is our tallest tower at nearly 200 feet, so pressure in the northeast part of the community is higher than areas of town served by shorter water towers on State Street and Golf Street.
Water pressure can also be impacted by leaks in the system, old water transmission lines and pipe materials, high usage in your neighborhood, etc. Cast iron lines installed several decades ago tend to corrode and lose capacity over time. Newer plastic pipes do not.
Potential Causes at Home
Customers in older homes in older neighborhoods should check aerators in their faucets and shower heads to determine if they are clogged. Many older homes also have older service lines that leak or have lost capacity due to corrosion. Service lines that connect to City mains are private property and are the responsibility of the property owner for repairs and improvements. Speak with a plumber if you believe that your pressure problems are service line related.
Does the city have any wholesale water customers?
Yes, the City of Augusta has long term water contracts to sell water at wholesale rates to the City of Mulvane and Rural Water District #6. Augusta also provides backup water supply to Rural Water District #4.
What portion of our water usage does Mulvane account for?
On average, the City of Mulvane accounts for about 25% - 40% of our total water usage.
What is the water plant's treatment capacity?
Augusta's water treatment plant has a capacity to treat about 5.7 million gallons per day (5.7 MGD). The current peak demand (highest usage days) average between 3.0-3.75 MGD, meaning that the city has plenty of capacity left for future growth.