Occasionally, our customers will experience discolored water in their homes. This discoloration may be the result of a disturbance in the water system, or an issue with a hot water heater on your property. Disturbances in our system such as water main breaks, leaks, hydrant flushing, construction, and fire fighting, cause increased flow and flow direction changes in the system. These changes disrupt sediment in the pipes, and cause it to become suspended in the water.
Is discolored water dangerous?
No. Discolored water is not a health threat even though it is not very appealing to drink. The discoloration is the result of naturally occurring iron in the water. Even very low levels of iron can color the water.
What should I do if I have discolored water?
If you experience discolored water, the first step is to determine if your hot water is discolored or your cold water is discolored. If only your hot water is discolored, then you may have an issue with your hot water heater and you should contact a plumber. If your cold water is discolored, then the issue may be a result of a disturbance in our distribution system and you should take the following steps:
Flush your water from a faucet that does not have a screen (like the bathtub or outside spigot) until you get clear water. If it is still discolored after several minutes of flushing, you may need to wait a couple of hours until the sediment settles, and the water in the main clears. Then try flushing again. If it does not clear within a few hours, please call our office at 508-520-4910.
When the water is discolored, it is recommended to not do laundry or run the hot water (to prevent sediment getting into your hot water tank). If it is necessary to do laundry, use stain remover or a regular detergent with the wash. Use of chlorine bleach is not recommended, as this could make the situation worse.