Tests show an increase in levels of the minerals manganese and iron dissolved in the Green River water supply. Treatment of these contaminants with chemicals like chlorine and ozone cause these minerals to become visible by giving them a yellow tint. Drinking water rules label these minerals as “secondary” or aesthetic contaminants that can cause objectionable appearance or taste. They do not have any known health effects at the levels we found. Learn more by reading our Yellow Water FAQs.
Brown water is often caused by disturbances to the water main, like main breaks or fire hydrant uses that stir up the sediment settled at the bottom of the main. While it may look unsafe, the sediment is harmless river silt particles. If you experience this problem, avoid using any water for one or two hours. If the water does not clear, call us.
White or cloudy water is typically caused by tiny air bubbles trapped in the water. The bubbles also can cause a slightly metallic taste or odor. This is harmless and usually temporary. Taste and odor of water can vary throughout the year because of changing water sources (river water or well water), seasonal algae in the Green River or fluctuating chlorine concentrations. Those slight variations are harmless and do not signal unhealthy water.
Rust particles in water (orange-brown water color) and spurts of air are caused most frequently when we shut down water mains to make repairs. On galvanized steel pipe plumbing systems (typically found in older homes), air trapped in the system rapidly expands when a valve is opened. Then, large quantities of rust break loose from the plumbing system and orange-brown water appears.
Running the cold water for three minutes should provide clear water. Sometimes this problem goes on for several days before it clears up. Aerators on spigots should also be cleaned periodically to remove any accumulated rust particles.
Use only clear water from the cold water tap for drinking and cooking.