Most of us don’t think much about the mechanisms that work together to bring water out of the faucet when we turn it on. As long as the water is there – we are happy not to know anything else. However, if the water that comes out of the faucet is discolored – then we definitely take notice!
The pipes that your drinking water runs through are made of various materials and can be several years old depending on how old your home is. Because your plumbing system is buried under the ground, there are many things that can happen to your pipes. The variation in the color of your drinking water gives clues as to what is causing the discoloration.
Here are some of the different issues that might be effecting the color of your water:
Yellow, Orange, or Red. This indicates that you have rust in your water. The rust could be coming from the city’s water main or it could be coming from the pipes in your house. To determine where the issue is originating from – take notice of the behavior of the water. For instance, if the discolored water is occurring at all of the faucets in your home it is likely that the rust is coming from the city’s water main. While rust in the water is not a health threat, it will cause stains to your laundry. If the discoloring happens in the morning and then clears by the afternoon it is likely that the rust is in your home’s plumbing system.
Green-blue. When your water is coming out of the faucet as a green-blue color this is a sign of an issue with a brass fitting or copper plumbing. The residue that is being left in your water from these issues can be damaging to your health and the problem should be corrected immediately. The green-blue color is caused by large amounts of copper in your water, which could lead to kidney and liver disease.
Black. If the water coming from your faucet is black in color this is a clear sign of a mold issue in your plumbing. While it is highly unlikely that mold could grow inside of your plumbing pipes – due to lack of oxygen and optimal temperature – mold can grow inside of faucet fixtures or inside of a water source and then be transferred into the water stream.
Pink. If you water appears to be pink in color, this is a sign of a bacterial growth known as serratia marcescens. This bacteria grows abundantly in bathrooms usually in the grout, shower corners, and toilet water.
If the water in your home is a different color that normal, contact a licensed, professional plumber to investigate the cause.