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Frequently Asked Questions



Does Scottsdale add Fluoride to the drinking water?

No, Scottsdale does not add fluoride to our drinking water.  However, Scottsdale water sources contain low levels of naturally-occurring fluoride ranging from 0.3 to 1.0 ppm.

What is the hardness of my water?

There are varying levels of water hardness in Scottsdale. Approximates hardness levels are shown in the table below.


Hardness (Grains per Gallon)

Hardness (mg/L or ppm)

South of Indian School Road

19 - 20

325 - 350

Indian School Road to Chaparral Road


240 - 275

Chaparral Road to McCormick Pkwy


200 - 225

North of McCormick Pkwy


250 - 300

Why does my water smell like chlorine?

The city is required by drinking water regulation to disinfect water before it enters the distribution system in order to control potentially harmful microbial activity in the water. Chlorine is the disinfectant used by Scottsdale. Levels of chlorine are carefully controlled so that disinfection is effective, yet not overwhelming to the water customer. Unfortunately some people are more sensitive to chlorine than others and may find any level of chlorine problematic.

What kind of in-home water treatment options are available?

Whether or not to install an in-home water treatment device is a personal decision that homeowners must make. The City of Scottsdale will not make recommendations on in-home water treatment.  However, should you decide in-home treatment is needed, we highly recommend getting thorough and reliable information on the use and maintenance of these devices. For further information on in-home water treatment please contact the Arizona Water Quality Association at 480-947-9850 or www.wqa.org.

Why is my water milky or cloudy?

Water will sometimes have a milky appearance due to entrapped air. If you fill a clear glass with the water and let it sit for two to three minutes the air bubbles will rise to the top and eventually disappear. The appearance of milky or cloudy water may also occur if two source waters of differing temperatures meet in the distribution system or inside your home’s plumbing.

Why does my water have a musty/moldy/earthy taste and odor?

This problem generally occurs in the late summer months of July through October and is caused by algae blooms in the lakes, reservoirs and canals that supply our water. As the algae decays, it emits a pungent odor that is picked up by the water. During peak periods, these odors can persist even after the water has been treated to drinking water standards. While these algae blooms are not considered harmful, they are aesthetically unpleasing to some people.

Scottsdale tries to minimize the effects of the algae through the use of GAC adsorption at our surface water treatment plants.  It is also helpful to chill water before use or add lemon or other fragrant fruit to your water glass.

Why do I have white stuff floating in my glass after the ice cubes melt?

When water is frozen the minerals concentrate on the surface of the ice. As the ice melts the minerals drop out and appear as white particles.

How do I get rid of water spots on glassware?

Water spots are caused by the hardness of the water. When water dries, it leaves behind mineral deposits. To prevent these spots use vinegar or a rinse agent in the dishwasher.

Why does my hot water smell like rotten eggs?

This smell can develop in hot water heaters due to sulfates that are present in the water and their reaction to sulfate-reducing bacteria, which thrive in the warm temperatures of water heaters. The smell occurs when the temperature of the water heater is set low or the water is allowed to sit for days or weeks unused. You can remedy the situation by turning up the water heater to 140° to kill the bacteria or call a plumber and have the water heater drained and re-filled.

Why does it smell like sewer when I turn on my faucet?

If you turn on the faucet to use your water and it smells like sewer gas, this smell is probably not from the tap water but rather from your drain. Sewer smells will occur if the U-shaped trap under your drain is not working properly, either from a leak or if the water in the trap evaporates. Drains also collect lots of bacteria and other matter that over time may emit unpleasant odors. To determine the source of the odor fill a clean glass from the affected faucet and then move to another room or go outside, and then smell the water. If the odor is detected in the water from the glass, please contact us for assistance. If the odor is not detected, the smell is probably coming from your drain and you may want to contact a plumber.

Please contact us with water quality questions.