Does That Look Right? Discolored Water and How to Fix It | Tips from Your Reliable Plumbing Service

Does That Look Right? Discolored Water and How to Fix It | Tips from Your Reliable Plumbing Service

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Strange Colors in Your Water? Don’t Get Used to Poor Water Quality

It’s amazing what people get used to. Many people turn on their taps, get something other than clear, great-tasting water, and say, “that’s the way the water is here.” At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, we help make our customers’ lives better by making their water better. If your water is discolored, has an odor, or reduces the effectiveness of your detergents, our plumbing service has answers. Next time your visitors say, “does that look right?” You can face the challenge and find out what’s wrong, then get to work with us and fix it.

What Color Is Your Water?

Your faucets can provide all sorts of surprises based on the state of your pipes and water supply. A variety of smells can also arise. Some of the colors indicate problems that need attention, others are just a little weird. These colors include:

  • Red
  • Brown
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Green
  • White (not clear)

In other words, there are plenty of ways that your water can acquire a hue, one that could indicate health problems for you, or damage to your fixtures, laundry, and other possessions that come into contact with the tainted water.

Ways That Water Goes Wrong

Red and brown water are usually signs of iron or manganese in the water, Cast iron pipes in your home can provide a local source if they’re older and corroding, especially if your water pH is too far from neutral and worsens the corrosion. Yellow is a regional coloration in the U.S., found where water from marshlands has filtered through peat, a natural source of fabric dyes. Areas where the natural environment produces this coloration include the northeast and northwest of the U.S., the Great Lakes region and the southeastern U.S.

Blue and Green water may seem more exotic, but they are often caused by natural deposits of copper in the ground where the water is extracted. Corroded pipes may add some copper as well. Cloudy white-water results from very small particles of various substances in the water which could be organic or inorganic in nature, even fine sand, suspended by the turbulent flow of the water through pipes and valves.

Effects That Discolored Water Can Have

Even if the substance responsible for the unusual water color is harmless, it may be accompanied by annoying smells such as rotten egg odors or a metallic taste.

Red or Brown

Iron can produce reddish stains in clothing, sinks, and tubs, and add a distinct taste to drinks and cooked foods.


Yellow from marshy areas is a small contamination with organic particles that is basically harmless, light enough to be unlikely to cause stains and generally not a health problem in itself. It does indicate, however, that the water was not processed enough to remove the coloration, which could mean that other contaminants are present.


Cloudy white contaminants may cause some damage through abrasion as they pass through pipes and valves, eventually require plumbing service for the worn-out parts. The particles usually provide no direct health hazard, however.

Blue and Green

Copper is fairly benign in small amounts but can stain fixtures, sinks, and clothing. You may find that you face plumbing service costs to repair and replace fixtures that are affected. Larger amounts of copper, above EPA standards for household water, can produce gastrointestinal distress, nausea, and vomiting. Copper used in pesticides and algae control products could be leaching into your water, either locally or at a distant supply source.

Other Possible Problems

Changes in area business activity and regional weather variations can produce changes in the degree of water problems you experience. Business contamination of groundwater can suddenly change aquifer supply characteristics. Hot dry summers may concentrate contaminants in rivers and reservoirs, raising the levels you find in your household water. Your plumbing service provider can advise you about local problems that have come to their attention.

Is Water Testing Necessary to Be Sure About What’s Wrong?

Water coloration can be reason to think more carefully about your water quality, even if the source of the coloration is unlikely to pose a risk. In the case of copper, larger concentrations or a history of copper contamination in area wells suggest that testing could be important. Chemical tastes or smells from the water are usually reason to test, with the possible exception of chlorine in public water systems which is intentionally added to control health risks. If plumbing and sinks are showing signs of discoloration or contamination, testing could help determine if further problems are occurring in pipes that will require extensive plumbing service in the future.

Solutions for Water Discoloration

For public water supplies, your plumbing service provider can help you work with the city or other water agency to get your water tested and any anomalies corrected, especially if they are a result of defects in the city system or lines. Your plumber can also help you identify and expertly correct issues with your pipes that are contributing to the issue.

If you use well water, your plumbing service provider can put extensive experience to work in helping you determine if you have issues with the water source such as an aquifer. They’ll guide you in getting your water tested and possibly installing a water filtration system for your whole house or, at a minimum, for your kitchen and laundry.

Turn to Your Expert Plumbing Service for Water Issues

Our team of plumbers has been managing plumbing and the pipes that your water flows through for a long time. We make great detectives when it comes to flow problems, leaks, drain issues, and water quality problems. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain plumbing service, we can isolate the problem and either help you get it fixed if it’s a water supply issue, or provide the plumbing services, including water filtration systems and well services, to fix it yourself. Give us a call, and don’t accept anything but clear water from now on.

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