Why is the water coming out of my faucet brown or cloudy?

There can be many reasons, but discolored water usually originates in the water distribution system or private plumbing systems. Corrosion or rusting of the interior surfaces of metal pipes is a primary source of discoloration and particles that can appear in your water. There are several possible situations that can cause this material to be dislodged.

Are both the hot and cold water discolored?

First try flushing the toilet or running a cold water only faucet. If the water is clear then the problem is with the hot water. If hot water is the source, the hot water tank may need servicing according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If the dishwasher or clothes washer is running, stop it mid cycle and don’t use other hot water until the hot water heater is checked. If the cold water is dirty then activities outside your home should be considered as the cause.

Look outside

If distribution system repair or maintenance is underway, this may be the cause. Also look for street sweepers or anyone else using a fire hydrant.

Flush the system

Open the cold-water faucet in the bathtub all the way open, full force, with the drain open, for about 15 minutes. Most dirty water situations will clear up in this time. If not, turn the water off, wait 10-15 minutes, and repeat the flushing again.

Left Hand Water District