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White water can result from excessive air trapped in your local plumbing or mains water supply. This leads to a build-up of pressure, forming air bubbles in your water that release when the tap runs. The trapped air dissolves in the water, but when you run a tap, built-up pressure releases and air bubbles form, which give your water its white appearance. This is called aeration and does not make your drinking water unsafe. If your water does appear to run white, it should clear after a short while. White water can also be a sign of a high level of chlorine in your water, which water companies often use to disinfect drinking water supplies.
White water can indicate a problem with your local plumbing system, or a build-up of chalky sediment, indicating the need for mains supply repairs.
Pressure changes in the central supply systems can also cause bubbles to form, turning your water supply white.
Air that’s trapped in water often releases when the water is heated, giving the hot water supply a white appearance.
What Causes My Water To Look White?
Your water supply might contain fine white sediment that forms when chalk deposits rise from the natural minerals found in your surrounding area. These impurities can come from many places, including reservoirs or pipes. The presence of sediment is mostly harmless, but it can create a disconcerting milky colour.
You can differentiate between air bubbles and sedimentary contamination by filling a glass with water and letting it settle for a few minutes. If the water appears white due to air bubbles, the bubbles will quickly rise to the top. If the water remains white, it could indicate your water has been contaminated by impurities such as rocks, stones, sand or dirt.
Firstly, check with neighbours to find out if the problem affects just your property. If your neighbours are also experiencing white water from their taps, it’s likely the problem isn’t localised but stems from your mains water supply. In this case, contact your water supplier to report the issue.
If your neighbour’s water is running clear, it is useful to find out whether you require professional assistance. To test this, fill a glass with water and leave it to settle for a few minutes. If the whiteness doesn’t dissipate contact a certified plumber or your water supplier to inform them of the issue.
If a certified plumber or your water supplier confirms your water supply suffers from some level of contamination, a carbon filter can remove the particles.