- Public Works
- Water Division
- Water Quality
- Discolored Water & Other Concerns
Discolored Water & Other Concerns
Occasionally, yellow water is detected in our water system. Tests show low levels of the minerals manganese and iron dissolved primarily in our well water sources. Treatment of these contaminants with chlorine may cause minerals to become visible by giving them a yellow tint. Drinking water rules label these minerals as “secondary” or aesthetic contaminants that can cause objectionable appearance or taste. They do not have any known health effects at the levels we have found.
Brown or purple water
Brown water is often caused by disturbances to the water main, like main breaks or fire hydrant use. The increased velocity inside the water mains may scour mineral deposits from the interior pipe wall that have been deposited over many years. While it may look unsafe, the mineral deposits do not have any known health effects at the levels we have found. If you experience this problem, avoid using any water for one or two hours. If the water does not clear, call us.
White or cloudy water is typically caused by tiny air bubbles trapped in the water. The bubbles also can cause a slightly metallic taste or odor. This is harmless and usually temporary.
Rust particles in water (orange-brown water color) and spurts of air are caused most frequently when we shut down water mains to make repairs. On galvanized steel pipe plumbing systems (typically found in older homes), air trapped in the system rapidly expands when a valve is opened. Then, large quantities of rust break loose from the plumbing system and orange-brown water appears.
Running the cold water for three minutes should provide clear water. Sometimes this problem goes on for several hours before it clears up. Aerators on spigots should also be cleaned periodically to remove any accumulated rust particles.
Use only clear water from the cold water tap for drinking and cooking.
Something's in My Water
Sand and grit
Sand-like particles and grit occur in home plumbing as a result of rust particles from galvanized steel pipe and mineral scale sloughing off the pipe wall. A steel table knife or pocketknife blade will crush rust or mineral scale, while true sand will resist crushing.
Sometimes, this grit causes premature failure of faucets. It will also affect the operation of faucet aerators. If your washing machine is filling too slowly, you should replace the screen filters where the hot and cold water hoses enter the back of the machine.
Hard water & Water Stains
The hardness of water refers to dissolved minerals that interfere with the sudsing action of soap. The harder the water, the less the sudsing action. The water we provide is relatively soft at (72.57 ppm), which means that clothes washing and other activities require less soap than areas that have hard water.
If you experience water quality problems and would like to speak with a water quality specialist, call (253) 841-5524.