Water Service FAQs
Where does Easton 's Water Come From?
Easton Utilities oversees and maintains the water supply for the Town of Easton . On average, Easton consumes 1.6 million gallons of water per day. Only 3% is used for drinking water.
The Water Department currently serves 6,000 customers through 84 miles of water mains and over 550 fire hydrants. Easton Utilities pumps water from naturally filtered underground aquifers (water-bearing sands) through six wells that are 1,000 to 1,200 feet deep. We then treat the water as required and pump it into the distribution system. The water that comes out of a customer's tap includes water from each of these wells. No single well provides all of a customer's water. Of those wells, four are drilled 1,000 feet into the Magothy Aquifer. The final two wells are drilled 1,200 feet into the Upper Patapsco Aquifer and feed directly into a state-of-the-art water treatment plant on Glebe Road.
Because our water comes from a ground source, it is less likely to be contaminated and it requires fewer added chemicals to make it safe to drink!
How healthy is Easton's water?
Easton Utilities has consistently passed all of the required federal and state tests for water quality. The aquifers from which we draw our water are the best water filtration system possible. We spend a great deal of time and effort proactively investing in upgrades and improvements to the water system to ensure that it continues to provide the highest quality water. For a copy of the most recent water quality report, click here.
What is the new water main flushing program and what does it mean to me?
Easton Utilities has developed a new unidirectional water main flushing program. Unidirectional flushing consists of closing specific water system valves to create one way flow and then opening hydrants in a consecutive manner. This increases the speed of the water flow in the pipes that produces a very effective scouring action.
For decades, Easton Utilities has used a semi-annual, conventional flushing which consisted of opening hydrants in a specified neighborhood to flush out accumulated rust and sediment. While effective, this type of flushing does not increase the speed of water flow through the pipes enough to dislodge stubborn deposits.
The new program has been used successfully in several cities and counties including Washington DC and Anne Arundel County. This flushing will occur during the day, neighborhood by neighborhood. Easton Utilities will place signs in neighborhoods being flushed. Depending on the size of the neighborhood, flushing may take one or two days.
Wastewater Service FAQs
1. What should I do if the sewer backs-up into my house?
The back-up of sewage through the drains in your home or business is an unpleasant prospect. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your property.
First, an easy lesson in basic plumbing.
Wastewater flows through small lines on your property to the larger, public lines in the street. From there the sewage travels by gravity or pressure to a water reclamation facility. The stream is constant, with peaks in the morning and evening. Each day millions of gallons of wastewater safely reach Easton Utilities' wastewater treatment facility to be reclaimed and returned to the environment.
Unfortunately, a blockage in the sewer line can interfere with this normally quiet, out-of-sight process. A blockage in the private or public line causes a back-up through floor drains and toilets at the lowest point in your home or business. The overflow will continue until the blockage is removed or until sewage is no longer entering the line.
Easton Utilities combines educational efforts with regular maintenance and investigative practices to prevent blockages. Customer information in the bills, public presentations and school programs help our customers understand what can safely be disposed of down the drain.
IF AN OVERFLOW OCCURS:
- Call our Emergency Services Division at: 410-822-6110
- If the sewer cleanout is accessible, an emergency crew will be able to determine if the blockage is in the customer's line or in the public line. If the blockage is in the public line, the crew will be able to break the blockage, ending the back-up.
- If there is not a cleanout, or if the cleanout cannot be located, you will need to call a plumber to assist you.
- Discontinue inside water use.
2. What causes a sewer back-up?
Anything which should not be in a sewer line has the potential to cause a blockage. For example:
- Kitchen grease, disposable diapers and sanitary napkins can accumulate and cause a blockage.
- Tree roots seeking moisture can grow through cracks in the lines, causing a blockage.
- Vandals have stopped up lines by putting bricks, wood, oil filters and even Christmas trees in manholes.
- Illegal hookups allow excess water into the lines. Outside stairwell drains, sump pumps, roof leaders, and drain gutters should never be connected to the sewer system. A sewer system is designed to carry a predetermined amount of sewage. Rain water not only overloads the system, but also raises the cost of the treatment process.
3. What can I do to prevent back-ups?
To protect your property follow these simple Do's and Don'ts:
- Put diapers or sanitary napkins in the toilet
- Dispose of grease down the drain
- Plant trees near sewer lines
- Connect any drains or sump pumps to the sewer system
- Install a plumbers test plug (available at hardware stores) at the lowest floor drain in your home
- Hire a plumber to install a backflow valve on the lowest drain line. Regularly inspect and maintain the valve
- Modify the plumbing line so that water is pumped to an upper level drain, eliminating the drains at the lower level
AND, JUST IN CASE
- Locate and keep accessible the sewer cleanout in your front yard. If you do not have a cleanout, have one installed by a plumber. The cleanout is the property owner's responsibility.
- Check your homeowners insurance policy. If you are not covered for back-ups, call your agent for information on costs and coverage options.
- If you experience a back-up, save all receipts related to any repair, cleaning or damages.
4. Do you know where your cleanout is?
This is the first question you will hear from our emergency service personnel if you ever have a sewer line blockage. The cleanout is a pipe located near the property line that rises from your sewer line to about 4" above ground level and is capped. Quite frequently, the cleanout becomes buried or hidden over the years and is forgotten. In some cases, older homes may never have had a cleanout installed by the plumber.
As a property owner, you are responsible for your cleanout. If the cleanout is buried, a registered plumber should be able to locate and raise it for you. If it is hidden, you will need to make it easy for our crew to access.
When your cleanout is accessible, Easton Utilities can correct any problem that may be disrupting your service on the public side of the line. Remember, if you experience a sewer line blockage, call us first at 410-822-6110. This could save the unnecessary expense of a plumber.
Please click here for a diagram of a typical installation.