There is nothing more disturbing than turning on the tap only to see a stream of colored water coming out of the faucet. There are several possible causes for discolored water in your Oklahoma City home, some of which are more serious than others. The three most likely reasons are rusty pipes in-home, rust and sediment from the water mains, or copper pipe corrosion.
Pipes, particularly old galvanized steel pipes, will sometimes rust as they age. This releases oxidized iron into the water which turns the water a brown, red, orange, or yellow color. The level of oxidation causes variations in color. This water is not harmful if drunk or bathed in.
It may stain clothes put through the wash, however. The only way to get rid of the discolored water is to replace the rusty pipes. If the water discoloration only occurs at a couple of faucets, is particularly noticeable in the morning, or only happens when hot water is running, rusty pipes in the house or building are most likely at fault.
Water Main Problems
A second reason for brown, red, orange, or yellow water is sediment or rust from water mains. Sometimes a buildup of rust and sediment happens in the pubic system, particularly in lower flowing areas.
This, a broken water main, or even the use of a fire hydrant can cause discolored water. If the water discoloration occurs equally from all faucets, is more noticeable towards the end of the day, or only happens when cold water is running, the water mains are most likely the cause. However, having a professional inspect the house’s pipes is never a bad idea, particularly if the water discoloration lasts for more than a day or two.
If discolored water is blue, green, or blue-green, caution should be immediately taken. While sometimes greenish water is caused by algae in warm weather, blue or green water is most likely caused by severe copper corrosion. Copper pipes are certainly the most reliable water pipe available but they are not impervious to deterioration. Changes in water chemistry or high water velocity can both contribute to copper corrosion.
If corrosion has gotten to the point where the water is discolored, the water is not safe to drink. High levels of copper in the human body can cause organ damage or failure. A plumber should be called immediately in the event of blue-green water.
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