Why is My Water Brown? Is it Safe or Harmful?

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Nowadays people often rely too much on the help of professionals when it comes to certain household issues, such as most of the plumbing problems that could occur.

While it is very important to be informed on how you can solve some of those issues on your own, there are several difficulties which can confuse a person at first, and make an impression of a serious problem so your first choice would be to hire a plumber.

One of those issues is the matter of brown water flowing from your tap.

If this happens to you, your first thought will probably be that this problem looks very serious, your water is no longer healthy to use, and you will have to hire experts and pay huge amounts of money to solve this issue.

Luckily, half of the job this malfunction requires is getting to know the source of the problem and potential ways of coping with it.


Is the Brown Water Bad for Health?

No matter how it may appear to you at first, surprisingly brown water can still be used for most of your daily activities.

The minerals and rust in your water that are responsible for the color are not dangerous for your skin, so although it might seem ridiculous to bath in such brown water, it is still possible.

It is certainly not recommended to still use such water, even though drinking it should not cause problems for your health if you don't have other options.

One of the safest things you can do with this water is to use it for brushing teeth, since that way you will not drink it, or get your skin in touch with it.

One of the things you should have in mind if you still wish to use brown water is not related to its color - since we already established that the color itself and the minerals are not dangerous.

Rather, it is the time factor; starting from the day that brown water happened, with each day that passes, you are getting in more risk of your water getting infected with bacteria.

The content of brown water in your pipes may form perfect conditions for different types of bacteria to reproduce, so again, using this water for a few days is not dangerous although to avoid it getting infected, it is highly recommended to solve this issue as soon as possible.

Possible Causes of Brown Water Coloring

In case this situation occurs, the smartest thing you could do is stay calm and analyze the issue.

You should try and figure out the possible reasons of discolored water flowing from your tap, so you will know how to react. Here are some of the most typical causes of brown water:

Sediments, rust and other pipe materials caused your water to run brown

Older homes might have poor water installation systems that are not being used nowadays, so this might be the reason for different materials accumulating in the water.

Some materials contained in the pipes corrode over time, such as iron or lead, so the rust in the water makes it yellow or brown.

If mineral deposits from iron pipes are the cause of the problem, the water will be colored yellow or slightly brown, while the lead particles that flow off in the water could cause the water to be colored dark or even black, with small particles present in it.

Switching the water sources

Sometimes, when a water source is replaced with a new one, several changes in the water properties could occur and change the color, smell or composition of your water.

Several sources of water could be used to supply your home with water. The most common are reservoirs and rivers, so you should check if your water source has been changed recently.


Chemicals from outside found their way into your water supply

One of many possible reasons of brown water appearance could be the accumulation of dirt and chemicals in your main water system, which are not generally located in the pipelines.

Those chemicals might have been washed from the street and flushed into water supply system which is supplying your home.

Most often this could be the case in the drought season or the period of frequent rains.

This might be one of the worst reasons for brown water, since it may take some time to check with the City Service and locate the point where outside materials are entering the water supply lines.

Sudden change in the Municipal water lines pressure

Changes in the water flowing pressure are not unusual.

For each malfunction or issue in the Municipal water lines, the servicing requires a change in the pressure of water flowing.

These changes can affect the dirt and rust in the City pipelines, and cause them to accumulate in the water, therefore changing its color.

Malfunctions in the water cleaning equipment

When it comes to keeping your drinking water clear and healthy, each City has its water filtering equipment.

The current water demand could be high, and the equipment is either old or not capable of cleaning that much water at that time.

If this is the reason your water has turned brown, rest assured that your Municipal plumbing experts will do their best to enable usage of clean water once again, as fast as they can.


How to React if Brown Water Issue Happens to You?

A change in the color of your water is not that much of a big deal if you know the reason why this is happening.

One of the first things you should do if this issue happens is to check if all your faucets are affected by this issue.

If all of them have brown water flowing, the problem is most probably in your City’s pipelines, and if not, your Main Drain might be the problem.

This way you will know whether to contact the City service department to check for information regarding the time when your water will be clean again.

On the other hand, if the problem is in your household pipeline, you will know when to call the plumbing expert to help you deal with the situation.

There are lots of toxic materials protectors available to install in your water supply system to prevent future poisoning of your drinking water.

Nowadays you can find Shields and Protectors for your water lines to guard you from all types of bacteria, sediments or dirt and rust in your water.

Conclusion: Why is My Water Brown?

Discolored water may seem horrific at the first sight, so the most important thing when it comes to coping with it is to stay calm.

In most of the recorded cases the situation was handled by Municipal authorities, while in some cases of water coloring in the household water supply lines, your best move is to hire a plumber, get some water filtering devices and install them in your pipelines.

The issue should be dealt with immediately, to prevent your water poisoning from happening, and on the first day or two, you can even use the water regularly.

Keeping your pipes and water filtering devices up to date, serviced and replaced each time when a malfunction occurs will save you some time and money in solving situations like discolored water, and also a lot of nerves and thinking about what might have caused this problem to you.