This is a scenario that none of us wants to deal with but most of us will be forced to over the course of our lives. What do we do when our water doesn’t descend from the tap clear-but is yellow or red or brown?
Fortunately, there is probably an easy explanation for some of these water discoloration problems. According to MassDEP (the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), brown, red, orange and yellow water can usually be attributed to rust-be it rust in the water main or the pipes in the building in which you reside.
The various colors are usually attributed to states of chemical oxidation of the iron and by the concentrations of rust in the water, according to MassDEP. And, according to the government agency, “the discolored water is not a health threat.” Which is a huge relief to homeowners and apartment dwellers who wonder how long they have been drinking tainted water.
To address the problem, according to MassDEP, it’s important to determine whether the problem is in your building or with the city/town water supply. This can be done by following some easy steps, such as determining if the water clears after it has run for a few minutes or if the problem occurs at only one or two faucets in the house, among several other steps. By determining the source of the problem, the solution can be quick to follow.
So while yellow or brown water can look disgusting and can lead one to believe it’s certainly a health risk, organizations like the MassDEP argue that rust-related problems like this are not a threat to citizens’ health.