Water Quality FAQs

Our customers often have questions about water quality, whether or not they are having an issue. If you don’t find the answer to your question below, please contact our water quality staff.

Taste and Odor

A metallic taste in water can be caused by metals leeching into the water from old pipes under and within an old home. Have a licensed plumber check the pipes. Another potential cause is a change in a customer’s body chemistry due to a new medication. Check your medications and their potential side effects with your doctor.

Dirty or Discolored Water

If your water appears dirty or muddy, it may be due to construction or maintenance within Helix’s distribution system. Sand or sediment in the water lines is most commonly caused by routine flushing of the distribution system through the fire hydrants. This is a routine preventive maintenance activity conducted regularly by Helix Water District.

Flushing the water system on a routine basis removes sediment from lines and keeps the entire distribution system refreshed. As a result of the flushing procedure, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and precipitates and does not affect the safety of the water.

Crews post signs in the areas in which they are working to help make customers aware of the preventive maintenance activity. If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been flushing in your neighborhood, clear the pipes in your own home by running all water faucets for a minute or two.

If a few minutes of internal flushing does not seem to improve the water color and both the hot and cold water are affected, please call us at 619-667-6248 during business hours or 619-466-3234 after hours. If just the hot water is affected, see our instructions on how to flush your hot water heater.

The State of California required that Helix begin fluoridating water from its R. M. Levy Water Treatment Plant in December 2007, in conjunction with the startup of the Metropolitan Water District's (MWD's) fluoridation. In May 2009, the Helix Board authorized staff to continue fluoridation as long as the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) and MWD continue fluoridation. The Helix fluoridation program was approved by the California Department of Public Health, which is now the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW). This program includes strict monthly reporting to the DDW.

View frequently asked questions regarding fluoride.

For questions regarding fluoridation, please email Helix Water District Fluoride.