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August 22,2023

Why Is My Tap Water Cloudy?

Have you ever opened the faucet to see cloudy or milky-looking water pouring out? While initially, this might be alarming, cloudy tap water may occur for various reasons. In this article, Mr. Rooter Plumbing investigates potential solutions and reasons behind its appearance before you contact a professional plumber.

Air Bubbles

One of the primary factors contributing to cloudy tap water is air bubbles. Sometimes, these air bubbles get trapped beneath layers of sedimentation, causing them to appear cloudy; though, this condition typically dissipates as air bubbles rise to the surface and pop.

Temperature Changes

Rapid changes in water temperatures can also contribute to cloudy tap water. A change can prompt dissolved gases like oxygen to come out of the solution and form small bubbles, making the water appear cloudy. This effect is especially common during the colder months when pipe temperatures differ significantly from ambient air temperatures, making the atmosphere warmer in some pipes while decreasing in others resulting in the temperature differing within pipes, creating cloudiness within.

Minerals and Sediments

Cloudy tap water may also be caused by minerals and sediments present. While water naturally contains calcium and magnesium in small concentrations, when these levels exceed certain thresholds, they may cause cloudiness in larger concentrations. Furthermore, over time sediments such as rust or debris may accumulate within water pipes which become suspended in the flow when disturbed, resulting in cloudy tap water.

Water Main flushing

Utilities routinely flush water mains to remove sediment build-up and preserve the quality of supply, with increased velocity in pipes which disturbs sediment accumulations at their base resulting in cloudy tap water at times when your utility company is flushing their mains - potentially explaining why cloudiness coincides with periods when your local utility company flushes mains for cleaning purposes. If your tap has become cloudy near times, they are flushing these mains; this could be why.

Safe to Consume

It is essential to remember that cloudy tap water should generally not pose any health threats; water treatment facilities employ stringent standards in ensuring safe tap water consumption, so cloudiness usually arises due to natural causes or processes and should not pose a danger to wellbeing. Should any unusual taste, smell, or persistent cloudiness arise, please contact the utility company to obtain additional details on any unusual tastes, smells, or persistent cloudiness issues.

Solutions

Though cloudy tap water is generally safe to drink, there are steps you can take to address its appearance:

  • Wait it Out: As previously discussed, air bubbles and temperature variations can contribute to temporary cloudiness; oftentimes, it will dissipate on its own after some time.
  • Run Your Tap: If the cloudiness is an issue, running the faucet briefly for several minutes could help clear away trapped air bubbles or dislodge any sediment-causing cloudiness.
  • Filters Can Help: If tap water often appears murky or has high mineral concentration levels, using a filter might help improve its appearance and taste.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing

At Mr. Rooter Plumbing, our expert plumbing service can assist in efficiently solving the issue of cloudy tap water.

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