Why is my water discoloured?

This article helps you identifies some of the more common causes that can change the appearance of the water and how it can be resolved.

The water we supply should arrive at your tap clear and bright. However, occasionally the water can appear discoloured or cloudy, or you may notice a stain or colouration to surfaces that regularly come into contact with the water.  The issue may be due to a burst main, work we are carrying out on the mains network, or building work in your property.

Moulds, Slimes & Surface Stains

You may notice staining on your shower curtains or other surfaces in the bathroom or kitchen or a black or green-grey material coming from cold water taps.   This is normally caused by airborne spores settling on damp surfaces.  These multiply to form a visible slime or stain which is normally black but can also be red, pink or orange.  Although they do not look very pleasant, there is no evidence to suggest they are harmful to health and are not caused by a deficiency in your water supply.  Regular cleaning of the surfaces with a household cleaning product and improving the ventilation to the area can help minimse the problem.

Blue Water

Mains water contains very low levels of copper but the level can increase when the water comes into contact with copper pipes in your home.  This normally occurs with new pipework and will disappear in a few days as a protective layer forms on the inside of pipes.  If the problem persists, please contact us.

Milky or Cloudy Water

Sometimes your water may be cloudy or appears white.  This is normally due to the formation of millions of tiny air bubbles.  Cloudy water can arise following a burst main or maintenance work we have been carrying out on the water mains. Normally the air will dissipate in a few days but if the problem persists, please contact us.

Brown or Orange Water

The majority of our water mains are made of iron and over time rust particles can settle out in the pipes.  These particles can be disturbed by changes in the direction or speed of flow giving an orange or brown discolouration.  Normally this is very short lived and running the first mains fed tap in the house for 30 minutes can resolve the problem. This is often found at the kitchen sink. If the problem persists, please contact us for further advice.