Tap water is expected to be clear. When it is colored, murky, or smelly, then most likely, there is an issue with the water supply of the home plumbing system. Either way, the homeowner has to determine the root cause of the matter to avoid possible problems or illnesses that could come with a contaminated water supply.
United States’ based non-profit organization, the Environmental Working Group, has explained the various reasons for suddenly getting discolored or smelly water supply. In the article they posted on their official website, they discussed what could be an alarming situation or situations which are not likely to cause harm to the household.
“If your water is milky or opaque, let it sit in a glass until bubbles rise. If the cloudiness disappears, it was caused by air and is not a health concern if your water is discolored, run cold water from the tap to see if it clears. (It may take a while.) Check with your neighbors to see if they have similar problems. Then visit your local utility’s website. Try the FAQ section or look for recent announcements.”
Take a look at the rest of the article here.
Brown Tap Water
Home improvement guru Bob Vila meanwhile explained why brown water could come out of the tap. On his website, he mentioned several possible reasons, and when homeowners should be alarmed.
“The most likely culprit is rust leaching from aging galvanized iron pipe. If you mainly notice the discoloration first thing in the morning—or after being away from your home for a while—chances are it’s a supply line. That’s especially true if only one faucet in your home is spewing the brown stuff. Before you replace any pipes, though, call the local water department to see if anyone else in your neighborhood has reported the same issue. If so, the discoloration may be due to a water-main break (or hydrants being flushed).”
The full article can be found here.
Water Heater Issues
Discolored tap water can also be due to problems involving the home’s water heater system. Home Guides SF Gate explains that an issue in the water heater system, especially an older one, could give way to brown water coming out of the shower or the faucet.
“Discolored hot water has multiple causes, including a failing water heater. But a water heater that’s only a few years old can still deliver discolored hot water without it meaning that the unit is faulty or failing. Galvanized iron plumbing corrodes with time and can release rusty to dark brown water in your home’s distribution system.”
Read the rest of the explanation here.
While discolored water does not automatically mean a huge problem in the plumbing system, it suggests that a thorough inspection be made to ensure a clean water supply throughout the household. The help of a licensed plumber will be invaluable in these situations.