What cause my water to have a rusty colour?

Why is my water a rusty brown color?Why is my water a rusty brown color?

Brown-colored water coming out of the faucets is a common complaint of householders. But why? And now that you know that brown water is contaminated, how much of a cause of concern should it be? How do you fix the issue and ensure that it does not bother you again? The discussion below provides answers to the queries of a typical householder regarding brown water coming out of taps.

  • Routine repairs or flushing of fire hydrants and watermains can stir up sediment and cause red or brown coloured tap water. This colouring is not a health concern, but can stain laundry and fixtures. Running your cold water taps for a few minutes will usually flush out any sediment in your system.If your hot water alone appears coloured, sediment in your water heater is likely to blame. Try draining the water from the bottom of your water heater to flush out these unwanted minerals. Repeat this procedure annually to prevent further build-up of sediment. If you notice coloured water when you turn on your hot water taps, you likely need to drain the sediment at the bottom of your hot water tank. Do this by placing a container under the hot water tank’s faucet and allow the tank to empty for about one minute. Repeat this procedure monthly to prevent further build-up of sediment.
  • Too much iron and/or manganese in water causes it to turn brown. So, if you turn on the faucets to find brown-colored water flowing from it, you can be sure that the water system in your house has been contaminated with one or both of these metals. Iron occurs naturally in soil so it is not uncommon for it to make its way into your water supply line. This is especially true if you receive your supply of water from an underground well.
  • Another common cause of taps discharging brown-colored water is a rusty pipe. Pressure fluctuations inside a water pipe, especially when the supply is switched on and off, tend to loosen the rust that had been clinging to the inner walls of the pipe. This rust then comes in contact with the water flowing through the pipe and turns it brown. Sometimes the galvanic coat of a pipe peels off from the inside of water supply line or the layer of magnesium over an anode rod comes off and exposes the layer of iron beneath. Water when it comes in contact with iron tends to turn a little brown.

How Harmful is it to Me?
Now, there is an interesting answer to this common query. Although iron and manganese are considered contaminants, drinking water containing these elements actually doesn’t harm you in any way. These are essential elements that the body requires to function effectively and your daily diet contains varied amounts of these metals. So, brown water coming out of your taps isn’t a concern on the health front.Also keep in mind that rusty water is a breeding ground for various forms of bacteria that cause illnesses. On the other hand, a build-up of rust tends to corrode and crack pipes that in turn, exposes your water supply to contaminants in the air and also increases the chances of leaks in your house.