How To Handle Brown, Orange and Cloudy Water
Discoloured water looks ominous, should not be consumed and can have serious health consequences. The typical discoloured water in our residences is usually brown or orange water, or cloudy water.
Brown or Orange Water
The majority of brown or orange water issues are related to water mains or in some cases dated plumbing in the house. The majority of water mains in the UK are iron. Over time, rust particles can and do settle in the pipes.
When the water flow pressure fluctuates, the iron particles can loosen and appear in the water emitted from the faucet or other outlets. The result is water that is brown or orange, definitely an unsettling consequence. A common cause of discoloration can be the release of water through a fire hydrant.
Normally, the situation can be cleared by running water from the main line to the house for at least 30 minutes or so. When the water appears to be clear again, let it run for several minutes after that. Once the normal direction of water through the main is restored or when the speed of the flow is restored to normal, the problem should disappear.
If the home’s interior plumbing is dated and iron, you can have the same situation in the home. Again, the problem can be caused by a change in the flow of water either in the direction or in the speed of the flow.
If you cannot resolve the problem by having the water run, contract a plumber. If the water is contaminated for rust particles, you can suffer health consequences.
Cloudy and Milky Water
Cloudy water can also look intimidating. Usually, cloudy water is the result of millions of tiny air bubbles in the water. This gives the water a milky appearance.
The easiest way to check for the presence of air bubbles is to fill a clean glass of water with tap water. Once filled, observe how the water will clear from the bottom as the air bubbles rise to the surface.
Ironically, the water looks more intimidating than it is. In normal circumstances where air bubbles are the cause of the milky look, the water does not represent a health risk.
Water main and interior pipes contain amounts of air, usually minor amounts. When air enters the supply system, the problem intensifies. This can also occur when a pipe or water main bursts.
The most common cure is to help the air dissolve in the water. If you turn the tap on, the pressure will release the air. You may notice a powerful burst before the water begins to flow.
Again, if the problem persists, contact your plumber.
- General plumbing and repairing a broken boiler (Heppelthwaite)
- Why is the Water in my Faucets brown and cloudy? (epicahome.com)
- Water mains may get a break (globalnews.ca)