Cloudy water coming out of a household tap catches your attention and may cause concerns. It’s not just an aesthetic issue; there’s always the nagging thought that it might not be safe to drink. However, cloudy water often has a simple and harmless explanation.
Air Meets Water
If your municipal water utility pressurizes water at local facilities, air may become dissolved into the water supply. When a faucet or other fixture in your home is opened and water comes out, the sudden depressurization forms clouds of tiny bubbles that give the water a neutral-colored, cloudy appearance. This may at first appear to be contamination of some sort.
In reality, it’s probably not. To quickly determine whether water that looks cloudy is actually simply aerated, perform this simple test:
- Fill a clear glass with water from the tap.
- Set the glass on a counter and let it sit for a few moments.
- If the cloudiness rapidly disappears and the water clears up, it’s probably just air dissolved in the water system, meaning the water is safe to drink.
Cloudy Water and Colored Water
Cloudiness in water that appears in other colors may be due to naturally occurring minerals dissolved in municipal water. Typically, these are increased levels of calcium, magnesium, or iron which may give the water a cloudy tint of red, white, or blue. This discoloration can be easily distinguished from cloudiness due to air dissolved in water: A glass of water clouded by mineral content will not clear up no matter how long you wait.
While natural mineral content within established limits is generally not a health concern, a professional plumber can provide home-filtration options that will clear up your water supply as it enters your home. A typical residential system is reverse osmosis filtration that not only removes minerals that discolor the water but also removes potential chemical pollutants as well as types of bacteria.
For more answers to questions about cloudy water in your home, contact the professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.