Dirty, Cloudy or Odd Water Color

From the time your water is purified at a treatment plant until it pours from your tap, there are a lot of chances for it to pick up things that can change the way it looks. Sometimes this happens as close as your home's own plumbing.

Water is cloudy when air gets in and makes tiny bubbles. The bubbles are harmless and will disappear if you let the water sit in a glass for a few minutes.

Usually when water looks dirty or has a strange color, it is because of changes in the way that the delivery system and/or your home plumbing system is being operated. When the direction that water flows in the pipe is changed - for maintenance work on a water main, when a fire hydrant is broken, or there is a break in a water main - materials at the bottom of the pipes get stirred up. Often, the water only looks dirty for a short time. Sometimes color in your water originates from your household plumbing system and can be attributed to your hot water tank or other places that trap deposits. You should not drink it until it looks clear. One way to speed the dirty water out of your pipes is to run all of your faucets for a few minutes. If the water is still not clear, then do the same thing again every half hour or so. The problem should go away within two to four hours. If it does not, call our office at 858-756-2424. The person answering the call will ask if the colored water is originating from the hot side of your home plumbing system and/or cold side. He/she may also ask you to look at a sample of water at a hose bib close to your water meter to see if the water entering your house has color in it. Any descriptive information that you can provide our customer service rep will be very helpful in determining the cause of the color of your water.