Common Causes of Discolored Water

If you’ve ever turned on your tap and noticed the water had turned its usual color, you might be wondering why it happened. It’s usually the result of water contamination, but not all sources of contamination are the same. Some are more dangerous than others, and some may take longer to resolve.

A New Water Source

If you’re suddenly getting water from a new source, it can change much about the water’s quality. This includes the color of the water itself. It can be a big deal, and you shouldn’t drink tap water if you’re worried the shift has made it toxic.

Heavy Rain

Storms can contaminate the water supply. This may be because of chemicals being washed into drinking water. Alternatively, your personal water might be contaminated if an underground pipe has been punctured, allowing mud and sediment to flow through.

Pipe Corrosion

Iron and lead pipes can rust, and this will leave materials in your water. This tends to turn the water brown or orange if the pipes are iron and will turn the water darker if the pipes are made of lead. Rubber materials can also break down and contaminate your water as well.


If air gets trapped in your water supply, your water may turn into a milky or cloudy white color. This isn’t always a dangerous issue, but it can cause problems if left unchecked.

What You Can Do

If your water is discolored, try running cold water until the color returns to normal. This should take about 20 minutes. If the problem doesn’t disappear, call your water supplier and have them flush the water with a fire hydrant.

If the problem remains, call a professional plumber. BPI Plumbing can help you deal with all manner of plumbing problems, so whether it’s a problem with your pipes or with the local water supply, we can investigate and help you out. Contact us today.

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