Now Offering Pipe Bursting! Replace Your Sewer Line WITHOUT Digging Up Your Yard! Click here to learn more!

Close this search box.

Why Does My Water Appear Brown?

Have you noticed that occasionally when you run the faucet you have brown water, where your cold or hot water is dirty, or discolored? If so, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to drink the water and if you have a major plumbing issue on your hands that needs tackling.

Your water is brown, what should you do? Occasionally, tap water can appear slightly brown because sediment, contaminants and corrosion in the water main have been stirred up. You see, some water mains are made out of iron, and as time passes, rust deposits can settle inside the pipes, causing that “dirty” water discoloration that can cause health concerns for homeowners. This can lead to the point where they contact plumbing services to address the home’s water supply, water quality and the corroding iron pipes.

Common Causes of Brown Water

Essentially, the rust settlement can be disturbed if there is a sudden change in the speed, direction, or flow in the water main near the home. What would cause such a change and fluctuation in the water flow in the water system to get this discolored water? It can happen for several reasons, such as:

  • There was a burst in the water main, which can cause the brown water in the water supply
  • Construction nearby can stir up sediment and it gets into the water supply
  • Routine flushing that’s meant to clean out pipes,
  • The water main was put back into use after repairs,
  • The water had to be re-routed due to a change in demand, or
  • A local fire department had to use a lot of water from a fire hydrant in order to handle an emergency can all affect how the water looks.

If you have brown water that is dirty, dark, or discolored, the first thing you want to do is run cold tap water in the kitchen faucet for 30 minutes, or until the water turns clear, whichever happens first.
Once the kitchen faucet is running clear water, run cold water through the rest of the faucets in your home until each of them is all clear. Taking this step ensures that all dirty water is eliminated from your pipes.

Take Precautions if Your Water is Brown

Until your water runs clear, you want to take the following precautions: do not drink the water until it is back to normal, and to avoid depositing dirty water into the hot water tank, do not use the hot water until the water is clear. DO NOT DRINK BROWN WATER OR RUSTY WATER.

If the dirty water does not go away after a few hours, feel free to contact our Kansas City plumbers at A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. We would be glad to get down to the bottom of the issue for you and resolve it. We can replace a rusted pipe, and make sure there are no leaks so you don’t have any further mold or mildew. 

All of these are plumbing problems a professional local plumber like A-1 Sewer and Septic can provide quality work for, and help stop the rusty water flow, water pressure issues, water pipes with sediment buildup, rusty pipes, main breaks and new water lines. Brown tap water is a fixable problem – call the experts at A-1 now to schedule an inspection for your drinking water lines, water heater, plumbing pipes and water filter/filtration system.