Wareham Fire District

Working for You Everyday Since 1907

FAQs Water Department

Wareham Water Department FAQ



1.   If you have black rings in your toilet or shower-


This is due to mold or mildew.  Mold and mildew thrive in warm damp locations such as a toilet bowl or shower.  Mold spores are found naturally in the air and will land on damp surfaces and multiply.  Bathrooms without a window or fan are ideal places.


Open windows or turn on the fan for ventilation for at least an hour after a shower.

Install a toilet cake containing bleach that attaches to the toilet bowl.  Avoid ones that are dropped into a tank, as the bleach may start to erode the plumbing on the toilet tank.

To immediately clean any stains, use bleach and a scrub brush or sponge.  Add 3-5 tablespoons of bleach to the toilet tank and flush. While the tank refills, add another dose of bleach to the tank.


2.    If you have pink or reddish slime or staining-

A pink or reddish slime or stain comes from an airborne bacterium, Serratia marcescens that is found naturally in soil, food and animals.  The bacterium produces a red pigment as it grows and multiplies.  The bacterium thrives on moisture,  therefore it will grow on moist surfaces such as toilet bowls, showerheads, and even pet water bowls.  Because the bacterium is found in soil, customers who live near construction sites may frequently notice this pink slim or stain.  It is harmless to humans and pets, but can be a nuisance.

If you have a carbon filter, the bacteria growth will intensify because while chlorine will kill the bacteria, the carbon filter removes the chlorine from the water.

Treatment:  Keep the affected area clean and wipe the surface with chlorine bleach.


3.    If you have reddish brown or rusty water-


This is often caused by a water main break or heavy water usage nearby, such as fighting fires, maintenance or construction.  To determine the cause, e-mail us at info.water@warehamfirdistrict.org or call us at 508-295-0450.  The discoloration should clear up in 4-8 hours.  Check to make sure the discoloration has cleared by running you COLD water for a minute.

DO NOT use any hot water until the color discoloration has cleared up because the sediment will collect in the hot water tank.  Also, DO NOT do any laundry until the discoloration has cleared.  If you have done laundry and your clothing has become stained, do not dry the clothes and DO NOT use bleach.  Bleach will cause the stain to set.  Call the Wareham Water Department at 508-295-0450 and let us know what happened.  We have a rust removal product at the office that you may be able to use to remove the stains. 


4.    If you have a sulfur or rotten egg smell-


The odor may indicate bacteria growth.  This could be in your drain.  Over time organic matter (such as hair, soap and food waste) accumulates on the walls of the drain.  Bacteria grow on these deposits and emit gases with the odor.  When you turn on your faucet, the force of the water going down the drain pushes these gases up into the air where you smell them.  Disinfecting the drain with bleach should eliminate the problem.  If this doesn’t eliminate the problem,  or if you notice the odor in more than one place in your home, the bacteria could be growing in you hot water heater.  Turn the temperature of the hot water heater up very high for a short period of time.  This will kill any bacteria growing in the hot water heater.

If your hot water heater has a magnesium rod to prevent corrosion of the heater, the odor could be caused by sulfur reacting with the magnesium. Contact the company that installed the hot water heater to inquire about either replacing the magnesium rod with an aluminum rod, or having the rod removed (note that removing the rod may void the water heater’s warranty).


5.    If you have blue or blue-green staining-

This comes from copper in the water, particularly if dripping water is leaving bluish-green stains on porcelain fixtures.  Copper pipes used in the home may cause this.


6.    If you have black particles in the water-


There are two possible causes for these particles.  Try smearing some of the specks between your fingers.  If the specks smear, it is a deterioration of the rubber gaskets.  You should replace the gaskets in the area you’re noticing the particles.  If the specks do not smear, it could be due to carbon from a water filter.  If you have a water filter, call the manufacturer to have the problem investigated.


7.    If you have cloudy or milky water-

Let the water sit for a few minutes.  If the coloration clears from the bottom up, it was the result of air bubbles in the water.  All water contains air and occasionally there will be more air in your water than normal.


8.    If you have a chlorine smell-

If you notice a stronger chlorine smell than normal, our annual main flushing program could cause it. Call our office at 508-295-0450 to find out if we are currently flushing in your area.  It should clear up in a couple of hours.  If the problem persists, please contact us.  If the taste bothers you, keeps an open container of water in your refrigerator.   The chlorine will dissipate in an open container.


9.    If you’re experiencing low water pressure-


Temporary low water pressure could be due to heavy water usage in your area such as watering lawns, fighting fires, maintenance, or construction.  Water pressure will return to normal after the activity is complete.  If you a chronic problem with low water pressure it could be due to several things.

  1. Elevation of the home compared to the elevation of the water tank supplying the area
  2. Small pipes serving the home
  3. Abundance of scale in your pipes (more common in older homes)