Please contact our office at 775-832-1203, 24 hours a day if you see water coming up from the ground or roadway, or suspect a water main break.  Be prepared to provide:

  • A description of the condition 
  • What is being affected (street, house, etc.)
  • The exact location of the problem
  • Your name, address and telephone number

How to Prepare for Water Outages

We recommend turning off your water heater during water outages.  You should also not use water during emergency or scheduled water outages.   

While we will always work quickly to restore water service, we recommend that you be prepared for unexpected water outages. The general rule of thumb for storing water is one gallon of water per person per day. This water will be used for drinking and sanitation. Don't forget that your pets will need water too.

Emergency Water Outages

Emergency outages include water main breaks or system damage.  If a main break occurs in your neighborhood, our crew works quickly to make the repair and restore water service. Due to the urgency of such situations, our crew will make the repair their top priority. This means water service may be interrupted without prior notification. 

Scheduled Water Outages

Scheduled outages include outages required for maintenance, repair, or alteration of the system.  In the case of a scheduled outage a door hanger will be left with specific details and contact information for the scheduled outage.  

Once Water Is Restored

Sometimes after the water has been turned off to your home there will be air in your water service piping when the water is turned back on. It is a good idea to run the first water after an outage through an outside spigot on the front of your home. The other faucets in your home can be opened slowly to allow the air to escape. Air will make a spurting or hissing sound as it escapes through the faucet. Once the water is flowing allow the faucet to run for a minute or two. The first water may be cloudy due to air in the water or particles that dislodge as the pipes fill with water. This should clear fairly quickly. If water is cloudy throughout the house and it does not clear after allowing the water to run for several minutes contact our office for assistance.

Boil Water Notice - Disinfection of Water

If the water system experienced an event that could result in contamination of your drinking water you will receive a written notification advising you of the requirement.

Tap water may be purified by bringing it to a rapid boil for 3 minutes above 5000 ft. elevation. Let the water cool before using, or use bottled water.  Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and food preparation until further notification.  Water samples will be taken to verify E. Coli and other coliform bacteria are not present in the system.

If unable to boil tap water, an alternative would be to disinfect it by the following method:

  1. Before attempting any disinfection, first strain tap water through a clean cloth or handkerchief to remove any sediment, floating matter or glass.
  2. Tap water may be disinfected with 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite solution (e.g. household bleach). DO NOT use solutions in which there are active ingredients other that sodium hypochlorite, such as scents or fragrance.  Use the following proportions:

Clean Tap Water: 

  • One Quart - 2 drops
  • One Gallon - 8 drops
  • 5 Gallons - 1/2 tsp.

Cloudy Tap Water: 

  • One Quart - 4 drops
  • One Gallon - 16 drops
  • 5 Gallons - 1 tsp.

Mix tap water and sodium hypochlorite thoroughly by stirring or shaking in a container.  Let stand for 30 minutes before using.  A slight chlorine odor should be detectable in the tap water.  If not, repeat dosage and let stand for an additional 15 minutes.

Emergency Preparedness Information

For information about preparing for emergency situations visit the Washoe Ready webpage: