Brown, red, orange or yellow water is usually caused by rust/iron. The different colors can be attributed to varying chemical oxidation states of the iron (rust) and by varying concentrations of the iron in the water. There are two major sources that can cause water to be rusty; Taylor West Weber Water's mains or the pipes in your home.
Rusty water occurs from sediment of iron in the pipes that have built up on the inside walls of the water mains. The rust can be disturbed and temporarily suspended in the water with unusual water flows from water main breaks, maintenance or by flushing of a fire hydrant. This discolored water is not a health threat. When the water is discolored it is recommended to either not wash laundry or to use a rust stain remover like iron out or a regular detergent but not chlorine bleach as it will react with the iron to form a permanent stain. Taylor West Weber Water does treat their supply with a chemical that is supposed to help sequester the iron. If we did not do this, discolored water would happen more often and take longer to clear up.
The other major cause of brown, red, orange or yellow colored water is rust built up on the inside pipes in your home. Water that is being discolored by rusty pipes is not a health threat, it is an indication that the pipes are corroding and could possibly start to leak or it also could be caused by "bellies" (low areas) in the pipes that have standing water in them from non-use.
The first step in solving a brown or yellow water problem is to distinguish if the problem is located in your home or if it is the from Taylor West Weber Water's main supply.
The following are some common characteristics of a water main supply disturbance:
Some common characteristics of a corrosion or "belly" problem within your home:
To clear up the discolored water, flush your pipes by opening up an outside tap if warm enough, a bathtub tap and several other taps in the house and letting them run, (cold water only) for about 5 to 10 minutes. If it is in just the hot water then the hot water heater will need to be flushed.
*Sulfurous (rotten-egg) taste/odor is caused by the natural occurring hydrogen sulfide in Taylor West Weber Water's supply or bacteria growing in your sink drain or hot water heater. There is an element in your hot water heater designed to protect it from corrosion but sometimes it will emit a sulfur smell as it deteriorates over time.
*Sewage-like, musty, moldy, earthy or fishy taste/odors are the results from certain types of harmless algae growing in the water supply that we purchase from Weber Basin, especially during the summer months. Also they could be caused by bacteria growth in sink drains. Although these organisms are harmless, the human senses of taste and smell can be extremely sensitive to them and can detect them in the water at very low concentrations. If getting any of these odors/tastes try flushing your pipes as mentioned above. Taylor West Weber Water does treat the water supply with t-chlor to help reduce these tastes/odors however sometimes the pumps fail to pump correctly or have to be adjusted because of water usage and this will cause a disruption of chemical flow and will take a couple days to resolve.
At times, water can have an unpleasant odor, taste or appearance. The first step in solving the water quality problem is to identify whether it originates from your household plumbing or from Taylor West Weber Water supply. One way to tell is to ask others in your neighborhood if they have a similar problem. If a taste, odor or color problem occurs at every water faucet on the property, the cause is probably with Taylor West Weber Water's supply. If it occurs in only certain faucets, then the problem is the fixtures or pipes supplying those specific faucets and running the faucets for a few minutes should eliminate the problem. Some customers like to install filters to help with taste and odor problems. Please remember to only use "rag" filters. Carbon filters are more expensive and will have to be replaced more often because of the high iron levels and the chemical we add to try to sequester the iron.
The District knows that it is the iron build up on the inside of the pipes being disturbed that is causing the discolored water, however, most of the time they do not know why it starts to happen. All the construction in the District could be a big factor from companies using fire hydrants without the District's knowledge. The best way to eliminate it out of your household is to flush your lines as mentioned above.
Monthly samples are taken as per State requirements and in spite of occasional variations in color, taste or odor, your water meets the highest standards for drinking water.