Water Quality FAQs

Do you test for lead and copper?

The Lead and Copper Rule requires us to collect special samples every three years.  The last samples were collected in 2015.  Lead was not detected in either source water or private households.  Copper was not detected in the source water but was detected at low levels in private households.  The source of copper comes from the leaching of copper used in household plumbing fixtures.

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.  Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.  The Vista Irrigation District is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components.  When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.  Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

What affects the taste of my water?

The taste of drinking water is affected by its mineral content as well as the presence of chlorine, which is used to protect against potential bacterial contamination. Sometimes plumbing can cause a metallic flavor, especially if the water has been sitting in pipes for many hours. Taste, however, does not indicate a higher or lower degree of water quality.

What causes bad odors?

Musty or fishy odors can be caused by harmless algae in the water, especially during the hot summer months. Even after chlorine has been added to disinfect the water, these odors may persist. Please email or call us at (760) 597-3100, if you notice any unpleasant odors, so that we may investigate the cause.

What causes cloudy water?

Cloudy or milky-looking water is usually caused by trapped air picked up from an air pocket in the water main or internal plumbing.  Unusual surges or flows within the aqueduct can also trap air, similar to a waterfall.  If the water is allowed to sit in a glass or a pitcher for a few minutes, the air will dissipate and the water will become clear.