Who Should I Contact if My Water Has a Funny Smell, Taste, or Appearance?

Today on COM it is all about “Who should I contact if my water has a funny smell, taste, or appearance?”

You turn on the tap and your water comes out. It usually looks clear and either has no smell or perhaps a hint of chlorine. This is considered normal as a result of the processes that it has been through at the treatment plant. But what do you do if your water comes out a funny color or has a distinct and not pleasant aroma?

First you’ll need to contact your water board to find out if they are aware of the issue and what they are going to do about it. You should also contact an independent specialist to complete your own water tests. This is a good opportunity to check out Filtap and consider fitting a water filter to your home.

Common Causes Of Water Issues

The following is a quick guide to the issues with your water and how serious they may be:

Brown Water

This is generally a result of increased sediment in your water. The most likely cause is actually the inside of your pipes corroding. A quick way to check this is to see if your neighbors have the same issue.

This is not likely to cause a health issue but it is not recommended to drink brown water. It may be an expensive process to replace the affected pipes.

Yellow Water
This is usually a result of small quantities of rust getting into your water. In general this is because the rust in your pipes has moved and reacted with the iron in your water. This causes the yellow color but is actually perfectly safe to drink; the quality of the water hasn’t
changed just the color.

Cloudy Water
Cloudy water can sometimes simply be an excess amount of oxygen in the water pipes. It can also be the result of particles which have dissolved in the water. These come out with force when you turn your tap on but the cloudiness should settle after a few moments.
If it does then your water is perfectly safe to drink!

Milky Water
If your water looks more like a glass of milk then you could have a very small tear in one of your pipes. When you turn the supply on pressurized water drags air into the system through the tear. The result is a high volume of air bubbles and milky water. It is perfectly safe to drink but you’ll need to inspect your pipes to find the tear.

The Smell Of Rotten Eggs
If your water smells of sulfur (rotten eggs) then it is likely that bacteria have entered your water system. It can also be due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide. This is a type of pollutant and you should not drink this water. You’ll need to contact your water board as a matter of urgency.

Sewage Water
You’ll be guaranteed to be put off drinking your water if it smells of sewerage. The most likely cause is actually a buildup of sewerage gases in your drain pipes. The force of your water being turned on causes them to rise to the surface. In actually fact the water is still good quality.

However it is possible that this smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide bacteria forming; you should not drink the water until you have established the issue.

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