Plumbing With A Purpose

Plumbing With a Purpose

Learn What Makes Your Tap Water Change Color

Joann Gardner

You expect your water to look crystal clear when it comes from the tap. Seeing it come out as any other color can be an unwelcome surprise and a cause for concern. There are plenty of reasons why your water supply could suddenly turn strange colors. The following explains how this can happen and what can be done about it.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy tap water is usually the result of air making its way into the plumbing system, either through a damaged water line or a faulty fitting. The trapped air eventually pressurizes, creating a carbonation effect on the water as it leaves the tap. A heavy amount of air buildup can cause your water to appear cloudy or milky.

If your water looks cloudy when it comes out of the tap, simply wait a few minutes. The effect is usually short-lived and it poses absolutely no risk to use. However, it may be a sign that your plumbing could use some professional attention.

Brown Water

Heavy amounts of sediment or rust particles can turn your tap water brown. This usually happens when nearby water mains are opened after being closed for maintenance. An unexpected surge in water flow can also disturb and carry sediment from aging service pipes.

If you have a home with aging pipework, you can also expect your water to turn brown due to rust buildup. Small amounts of iron buildup in your water supply can also give your tap water a yellow tinge instead of the typical brown color.

Brown water can ruin clothes and make fixtures harder to clean, but it doesn't pose any health risks. Nevertheless, you wouldn't be able to finish a tall glass of brown water due to the terrible taste. Running your taps for a few minutes will help flush out brown water, in most cases.

Pink Water

Municipal water plants use a variety of chemicals to treat water for bacterial growth and remove unwanted minerals and toxic compounds. These chemicals include potassium permanganate, which is added prior to the standard treatment process and removed through filtration afterwards.

Adding large quantities of potassium permanganate can turn the water bright pink or deep purple, depending on the amount. When this happens, there's not much you can do other than wait for your water provider to perform a system-wide flush. You can safely use pink water, but those with sensitive skin may want to consider other alternatives for bathing.  


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About Me
Plumbing With A Purpose

When was the last time you realized that you had a serious plumbing problem? About a month ago, I knew that I had to make some big changes, so I began talking with different plumbers about getting the job done. I told them that I wanted to replace the bathtub in the bathroom and the sink and faucet in the kitchen, and they took my requests in stride. Before I knew it, my entire home was updated and I felt great about the work. I wanted to start this blog to help other people to learn more about plumbing and repair.