Why is My Water Brown?

March 22, 2017

Why is My Water Brown?

If you are experiencing discolored water in your home, do not drink it and check your local water utility for any information. There may be issues with the city's pipes or other distribution lines that are affecting the quality of water in your home. If there are no issues with your local water provider you may need to troubleshoot your home's internal piping.

Why Does Water Discoloration Happen?

Your water may appear brown or discolored for a number of reasons, including:

  • Rusty pipework
  • A burst water main
  • Sediment build up in hot water heater
  • Too much iron or manganese in the water
  • Water main repairs being carried out on your municipal system

Discoloration can happen suddenly or over a longer period of time, depending on the cause.

What is Hydrant Flushing?

Hydrant flushing is a method often used by municipal water companies to clear the sediment present in pipes. This process helps to restore the clarity and quality of your water. If you're getting brown water out of your faucets, you should turn on one of your cold water taps and have it run for around 20 minutes. If the water turns clear within that time there may be an issue with the piping in your home, but if the water does not run clear, there may be an issue with the water coming into your home.

Is Brown Water Bad for Your Health?

Do not drink brown water if you have not conducted a water quality test. Rusty water is fine to drink as long as you do not mind the metallic taste. However, there may be more contaminants in your water than just rust. Brown water can also be caused by the intrusion of organic material, the contamination from harmful chemicals, or dangerous viruses or organisms.

Why is Water Cloudy?

There could be a couple of reasons for your water being cloudy. Cloudiness can be caused by tiny air bubbles created during the pumping process. These should clear after a few seconds. Another cause is a high concentration of minerals brought out of solution as a result of the high-pressure water pumping process. The high concentration of minerals is common for water systems that use wells and pumps as a supply.If your hot water is cloudy, it could be caused by the process of heating the water. As water boils, carbon and oxygen particles separate creating steam. Because the water is stuck in the pipes and the hot water heater, the separated molecules will concentrate in the water making it cloudy. As the hot water cools down, the cloudiness will settle by either condensing back into water or being released as steam.

How to Get Rid of Brown Water

If you notice that your water is brown or discolored, try running the cold water from your tap for 20 minutes. If the water remains brown, call your municipal water company to report the problem. If the water from your hot water tap is brown, you may need to flush your water heater. You may also need to have your internal water pipes checked for rust to ensure the problem doesn't lie within your own property.

Set up a Free On-site Water Quality Assessment Today

At Jason's Water Softeners, we excel in water softener services and can help you to ensure your water stays clear, safe, and at the highest quality. Contact us today to set up your free on-site water analysis.