1. After working all day in the yard, I am tempted to quench my thirst by taking a drink from the garden hose. Is this safe?
2. Is it safe to drink from a public drinking fountain?
3. How important is water to the human body?
4. Will I get sick from drinking water from local streams or rivers, even if they are not stagnant?
Q: After working all day in the yard, I am tempted to quench my thirst by taking a drink from the garden hose. Is this safe?
A: Nobody should drink from the hose — animals included. Many standard vinyl garden hoses contain chemicals to make them flexible. These substances, which could make you sick if ingested, could get into the water flowing through the hose. Also, the likelihood of lawn fertilizers or other such chemicals finding their way into the hose is too great to risk drinking water from that source. It’s best to take a few moments to go indoors and fill your glass with a cold drink from the tap.
Q: Is it safe to drink from a public drinking fountain?
A: Yes, usually. However, you may want to consider running the fountain for a minute before drinking, especially if the tank is older. Since older tanks sometimes contain lead, there is a possibility that this substance could creep into the water. Letting the water run minimizes any risk of lead that could infiltrate the system. Interestingly, the United States Congress passed two laws in 1986 and 1988 banning use of lead in piping and storage tanks, and thankfully the situation has improved.
Q: How important is water to the human body?
A:Since our bodies area made up of about 70 percent water, it is extremely important to our wellbeing. Water helps us with digestion, transportation of bodily waste, lubrication of joints and even the regulation of our body temperature. Without water, we cannot survive more than a few days. It is important to keep yourself hydrated and drink the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Q: Will I get sick from drinking water from local streams or rivers, even if they are not stagnant?
A: Yes, you may get sick from drinking water from streams or rivers, even if the water is flowing. Germs and bacteria living in the water may be undetectable to you, and once ingested may make you very ill and even dehydrated.
HICKSVILLE WATER DISTRICT POLICIES
1. Who is responsible for the repair of water service lines?
2. Why do I have to pay for water that results from a leak?
3. I am selling my house. What do I need to do to close out my account with the Hicksville Water District?
4. How do I have my water service turned on?
5. I'm installing a sprinkler system, is there anything I need to do?
6. Are watering regulations still in effect?
7. Is there really water being stored in my local water tower?
Q: Why do I have to pay for water that results from a leak?
A: Consumers of the Hicksville Water District are responsible for all the water that passes through their meters including the water lost by a leaking meter. Moreover, in the event a service line is leaking before the meter, the district may estimate the cost of unmetered water.
• Account #
• Service Address
• Seller’s Name
• Seller’s Attorney's Name, Phone Number and Address
• Seller's Forwarding Address
• Purchaser's Name
• Purchaser's Attorney's Name and Phone Number
Also, make an appointment with the district for a final meter reading and inspection, for which there is a $5 service charge.
Q: How do I have my water service turned on?
A: Hicksville Water District customers should call (516) 931-0184. There may be a minimal charge and fees are associated with new, non-existing service. Service is turned on as soon as all requirements are met. If a house is being sold, it is rare that the water would be turned off.
Q: I'm installing a sprinkler system, is there anything I need to do?
A: It is important that a licensed professional install your sprinkler system. And remember that a backflow prevention device must be included. Click here for more info.
Q: Are watering regulations still in effect?
A: Yes. Nassau County PROHIBITS SPRINKLING FROM 10 AM to 4 PM and restricts watering to odd/even days, according to your house number. These restrictions are in effect throughout the year. Non-compliance can lead to a fine. Click here for more info
Q: Is there really water being stored in my local water tower?
A: Yes. Water is stored up high in the tower to ensure pressure and volume for firefighters who will need it, even in the event of a power outage. The towers are typically filled up at night, when water usage is low, and then act as an extra source of drinking water during the day, when usage is high.
AROUND THE HOUSE
1. Why does water swirl when it goes down the drain?
2. Is it better to use hot or cold water when preparing a meal?
3. How long can I store drinking water?
4. How can I prevent the pollution of drinking water sources?
5. Should I buy bottled water?
6. Can I make baby formula with my hot tap water?
7. Will putting a brick in my toilet tank really save water?
8. I want to kill the weeds on my lawn, but don’t want to endanger local wildlife that drink water on the ground. What should I do?
9. I want a beautiful landscape that is water efficient. What should I plant?
10. Is there a way that I can shut off my water in an emergency?
Q: Why does water swirl when it goes down the drain?
A: Much like a figure skater spinning, water going down the drain has a circular effect. As the skater pulls his or her arms in close to the body, the skater spins faster. Likewise, because the drain opening is much smaller than the tub or basin, as the water nears it, the slight circulating motion gets faster so that you can see it.
Q: Is it better to use hot or cold water when preparing a meal?
A: Cold water is best to use for cooking and drinking. Hot water is more likely to contain elements from your household plumbing and water heater since those particles generally dissolve into hot water more easily.
Q: How long can I store drinking water?
A: Water from your tap can be stored for six months in capped, plastic containers that will not rust. Water that has been boiled for one to three minutes can be stored for up to one year in similar containers. If you choose to store your tap water in case of emergency, remember to replace the water every six months, as the disinfectants will slowly dissipate and your water will not be as safe to drink. And, never store it near toxic substances like bleach or other cleaning products that can actually pass through plastic.
Q: How can I prevent the pollution of drinking water sources?
A: First, properly dispose of chemicals that are utilized in your home. Second, try to buy environmentally friendly household cleaners and products. Third, take advantage of the town-run Stop Throwing Out Pollutants program. Remember that anything you dump on the ground today can pollute the drinking water of future generations.
Q: Should I buy bottled water?
A: If your drinking water meets all of the federal, state and local drinking water standards, you don't need to buy bottled water. If you want a drink with a different taste, you can buy bottled water, but it costs up to 1,000 times more than municipal drinking water. Of course, in emergencies bottled water can be a vital source for people without tap water. Click here for Hicksville Water District's most recent Water Quality Report. (see the Quality section)
NOTE: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires bottled water quality standards to be equal to those of the US Environmental Protection Agency for tap water, but the quality of the finished product is not government-monitored. Bottlers must test their source water and finished product once a year. Currently, any bottled water that contains contaminants in excess of the allowable level is considered mislabeled unless it has a statement of substandard quality.
Regulations require bottlers to inform consumers of "bottled water" contents. Although recent tests have not found any lead in dozens of brands of bottled water, studies have shown that microbes may grow in the bottles while on grocers' shelves.
Q: Can I make baby formula with my hot tap water?
A: Although cold tap water is safe for us to drink, hot water from your sink may not be safe, especially for babies. Your water heater may contain some very slight impurities, so use cold water from the tap instead. Heat up water in the microwave or over the stove and it will be perfectly safe for your baby formula.
Q: Will putting a brick in my toilet tank really save water?
A: Putting an object in your toilet tank will help to conserve water, but a brick is not your best choice. Bricks can erode or crumble, so use a glass or plastic container filled with water instead. This way, every time you flush the toilet, a small amount of water will be safely conserved. However some toilets do require a certain number of gallons in their tank, so be sure to be careful and watch the water level to be sure you aren’t damaging the tank.
Q: I want to kill the weeds on my lawn, but don’t want to endanger local wildlife that drink water on the ground. What should I do?
A: Weed killer isn’t only found in the gardening section. Household vinegar is an effective way to kill weeds and keep animals safe. Pour a small amount on the roots of the weed for an environment-friendly way to keep your yard beautiful.
Q: I want a beautiful landscape that is water efficient. What should I plant?
A: There are many types of flowers and plants that can brighten up your landscape and survive on very little water. Beach Rose, Lavender, Black Eyed Susan, Mexican Sunflower, Narrow Leaf Zinnea and Butterfly Bush are all beautiful and durable plants that won’t require much watering. Ask your local nursery about ways to plant these flowers together and to learn more about their care. If you are looking for a larger addition to your yard, American holly, Conelian cherry, Eastern red cedar, hedge maple and pitch pine are trees that are considered “drought resistant.”
Q: Is there a way that I can shut off my water in an emergency?
A: Yes. The main water shutoff is usually located where the water service enters the premises, typically near a boiler or hot water heater. Before an emergency arises, identify the valve and make sure it is clearly marked by tagging it or painting it with a bright color.
You also might want to check to make sure it works by turning it clockwise until the water shuts off to the house. Open the faucets in the kitchen or bathroom to make sure no water is flowing. If the valve is not functioning properly, have it replaced or repaired right away. Don't forget to turn the water main back on when you are finished with the process.
THE WATER SOURCE
1. How does nature recycle water?
2. When I turn on my tap, where is the water coming from?
3. I have heard that the drinking water on Long Island comes from aquifers. What exactly are aquifers?
4. If there is such a water shortage on earth, why aren’t we just drinking the ocean water?
Q: How does nature recycle water?
A: The water cycle keeps constant the total amount of water on our globe. As you might remember from science class, although matter sometimes changes forms, it cannot be created or destroyed. For more details, see the Water Cycle page on this Web site.
Q: When I turn on my tap, where is the water coming from?
A: Hicksville Water District maintains 14 wells that drill into the Magothy Aquifer and travel through 166 miles of mains to 15,400 homes and businesses. Before it reaches your tap, however, the water is tested and treated in a number of ways to make it safe to drink. Rest assured, with our thorough and stringent testing, we deliver the cleanest water possible. For more information on the quality of Hicksville water, see the most recent Drinking Water Quality Report in the Quality section. (see the Quality section)
Q: I have heard that the drinking water on Long Island comes from aquifers. What exactly are aquifers?
A: Aquifers are layers of sand, gravel and silt that sit far below the earth's surface and act as a natural filtration process. They contain trillions of gallons of water, some of which fell almost one thousand years ago. The aquifer levels are constantly replenished by natural rainfall as the water trickles down through the soil.
Q: If there is such a water shortage on earth, why aren’t we just drinking the ocean water?
A: The amount of salt present in ocean water makes it undrinkable for humans. Purifying the ocean water for us to drink is an option, but an expensive one. To make ocean water clean enough for humans to drink would cost an exorbitant amount of money, far more money than we use to purify the water we currently use from our aquifers. We would have to remove approximately 99 percent of the salt found in ocean water just to make it suitable for humans to use as drinking water. It is a better choice to rely on the water sources that we currently have.
QUALITY & TESTING
1. Is the water supplied by the Hicksville Water District safe to drink?
2. Is water with chlorine in it safe to drink?
3. Why would my tap water be reddish in color or “rusty?”
4. What does the Hicksville Water District add to our water?
5. What are water standards?
6. My tap water looks cloudy sometimes. Does this mean it is contaminated?
7. Does the Hicksville Water District add fluoride to the drinking water?
Q: Is the water supplied by the Hicksville Water District safe to drink?
A: Definitely! The Hicksville Water District is committed to meeting and exceeding the strict quality standards put in place by the state and federal governments. The water that is delivered to the tap is continually monitored to ensure its quality and safety. The Nassau County Department of Health reviews all test results and the readings must be within state and county limits or the water cannot be distributed to the public. The Hicksville Water District is pleased to report that the water supplied to the community meets all the standards required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State and Nassau County Departments of Health. Find out more about the water provided to Hicksville customers 24/7 in the Quality section.
Q: Is water with chlorine in it safe to drink?
A: Yes. Many tests have shown that the amount of chlorine found in treated water is safe to drink. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has established a maximum allowable level of chlorine and other disinfectants, which are added to the water as it enters the distribution system to protect against germs. For more information, go to the Quality section.
Q: Why would my tap water be reddish in color or “rusty?”
A: First, you might note if the water is coming exclusively from the hot water tap. If so, have your hot water heater checked. It might be rusting and need to be replaced. If you live on Long Island’s south shore, what you might see is not rust, but a naturally occurring element called iron, which is colorless in groundwater. However, when it combines with air as you turn on your tap, the iron turns to a reddish-brown color. Although it may not look very appealing, it’s not harmful. Additionally, sometimes iron in the tap water can be the result of the element settling in the water mains and becoming stirred up during a water main break or a fire hydrant being opened. If you have a persistent problem with this, give your public water supplier a call.
Q: What does the Hicksville Water District add to our water?
A: Before it enters the public distribution system, water supplied by the Hicksville Water District is treated at each well site with sodium hydroxide for pH adjustment and corrosion control and is disinfected with sodium hypochlorite, according to state and county health department requirements. More information is available in the Annual Water Quality Report. (see the Quality section)
Q: What are water standards?
A: Standards are typically numerical limits on the concentrations, or amounts, of a particular contaminant. In cases where a contaminant cannot be readily measured, such as particular microbiological organisms that can sicken humans, water supplies must provide specific treatment, such as disinfection and filtration, to ensure safe water.
Q: My tap water looks cloudy sometimes. Does this mean it is contaminated?
A: No. Cloudiness is often caused by air bubbles in the water that eventually float up to the top and dissolve. This is especially frequent in the wintertime when the water is very cold. Another reason for cloudiness is the presence of calcium, a harmless mineral that eventually settles toward the bottom of the water, making it clear again.
Q: Does the Hicksville Water District add fluoride to the drinking water?
A: No. In fact, no public water supplier on Long Island adds fluoride to the water it provides consumers. Back in the 1940s, it was believed that adding the compound would prevent tooth decay, particularly among children. But that did not prove to be true. Today, most toothpaste contains fluoride as well as many of the foods we eat. Since too much fluoride can cause certain adverse health effects, public water suppliers in Nassau-Suffolk felt it was best to stop adding it. If you are caring for a baby or child, check with your pediatrician for more information.