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  • Why does my water look brown?

    Has brown water recently come flowing through your taps? It may have been caused by an increase in the quantity of minerals, rust particles or other sediments in the water pipes supplying your residence with drinking water. Many people have experienced this and although this is an inconvenience and can be damaging to clothes and fixtures, it is not a serious health concern. Despite this, we would not recommend drinking any brown water as it could have an unpleasant taste.

    Quick Facts:

    • When pipes corrode over time, the materials flake away and can find their way into your water supply making the water an orange-brown colour (iron pipes) or even black (lead pipes).
    • When combined with hot water, certain elements from sulphur dioxide show in a brown appearance.

    The importance of clean water

    With fresh drinking water being a vital resource, we rely on public water systems to treat and deliver clean water to our homes, schools and businesses. Drinking clean water and staying hydrated helps remove toxins from your body, serves the functionality of several organs and can improve the emotional outlook of individuals.

    What should I do if I discover brown water?

    In most instances, the water should begin to run clear after a couple of hours of activity or after you have run the cold faucets for a few liters.

    If your water is running brown after 24-hours and surrounding neighbourhoods are also experiencing brown water, it is advisable to contact your local water supplier as the problem is likely to go beyond your domestic pipes. Your local water supplier is able to inspect your pipes more closely, identify the root cause of the brown water and has authority to use a fire hydrant to flush out any remaining brown water. You also can ask whether they monitor their water for secondary contaminants as supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Secondary contaminants do not pose a health risk but can affect the way your drinking water looks, smells or tastes.

    Run the cold and hold water to establish whether the brown water is coming from hot or cold water. If the brown water is from hot water, your water heater may need to be flushed out or replaced. Contact a certified plumber or your water supplier for further investigation.