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Why Is My Water Yellow?

Today is just another typical day–until you opened the faucet. And to your amazement, yellow water suddenly flows out of the tap. You might have wondered, “Why is my water yellow suddenly?”

The causes why water is yellow could be attributed to internal or external factors. Internal factors are usually caused by the water supply itself, while external factors are typically caused by the pipes that deliver the water to your home.

Generally speaking, the presence of rust particles causes tap water to turn yellow.

Though using yellow doesn’t pose any serious concern, there are several ways to clean water from these particles as recommended by our water specialists.


Why Is My Tap Water Yellow?

Why Is My Tap Water Yellow?

Water discoloration can have many effects, ranging from aesthetic to health-related. However, the most common result of water discoloration is an unpleasant taste or smell often caused by chemicals leached into the water supply, such as chlorine.

In some cases, water discoloration can also cause skin irritation.

Common reasons for yellow water are:

Sediment Build-up In Your Home’s Pipes

Sediment can build up in your water pipes over time, especially if you have an older home with galvanized steel pipes.

When the water flows through these pipes, it can pick up small sediment particles and cause the water to appear yellow.

High Iron Levels In Your Water

If you have high iron levels in your water, it can also cause the water to appear yellow. This is because the iron reacts with the oxygen in the water to form rust, a yellowish-brown color.

Bacteria In Your Water

In some cases, bacteria can also cause water to appear yellow. It is usually due to a problem with the water supply and not your home’s plumbing.


Causes Of Yellow Tap Water

Causes Of Yellow Tap Water

Factors vary depending on the water sources, systems used, and seasons where your water supply is situated. However, here are common causes for your tap water to turn yellow.

Disruption In The Water Reservoir

Changes in the water source can cause water to appear yellow. For example, if you have a well, the water might take on a yellow tint after heavy rains due to runoff from the surrounding soil.

In some cases, your municipality might be working on the water lines, which can also cause the water to appear yellow.

Changing water reservoirs in Flint and Washington D.C. in the early 2000s had a similar situation, disrupting tap water quality, taste, and odor.

Pipe Corrosion

If you have an older home with galvanized steel pipes, the water flowing through these pipes can pick up small sediment particles and cause the water to appear yellow.

In addition, having high levels of iron in your water can also cause the water to appear yellow. This is because the iron reacts with the oxygen in the water to form rust, a yellowish-brown color.

Presence Of Organic Sediments 

High demand in water supply, such as those used by firefighters, can cause a water main break.

As a result, water can become discolored due to the sediments disturbed and carried by water flow.

Fast water flow can stir the sediments settling at the bottom, causing your regular tap water to become discolored.

Trapped Air Bubbles 

When water is scheduled for treatment, it’s not unusual to add air to it to maintain dissolved oxygen, which is prevalent in treating well water.

When the water is pumped from the ground, it can pick up tiny air bubbles, making it appear yellow or cloudy.

Industrial Wastes

Living near an industry that disposes of waste in the water can cause the water to appear yellow.

This is so because the industrial waste can react with the chlorine in the water to form yellowish-brown compounds.


How Do You Fix Yellow Tap Water?

How Do You Fix Yellow Tap Water?

If you notice that your tap exhibits a yellowish tint, there are several things you can do to treat yellow tap water.  

Run Cold Tap Water For a Few Minutes 

If you think the cause of the yellow water is sediment build-up in your home’s pipes, you can try running your cold water taps for a few minutes, and doing this will help flush out any sediment in your pipes.

Install a Water Filter

If you have high iron levels in your water, you can install a water filter designed to remove iron from the water.

Get Your Water Tested

If you’re unsure what is causing your water to appear yellow, you can have it tested by a professional, which will help you determine what is causing the problem and how to fix it.

Power Flushing

If the water is coming from a well, it might be due to sediments floating around the water.

You can try power-flushing the well to remove the residue in this case. We recommend asking a professional water specialist to help solve this problem.

Use Bottled Water

If you’re concerned about water quality, you can use bottled water for drinking and cooking. It is a good option if you’re not sure what is causing the yellow tint in your water.

Use a Water Softener

If you have hard water, you can use a water softener to treat it, which will help remove any minerals that might be causing the water to appear yellow.


People Also Ask

Is it OK to bathe in yellow water?

If the yellow water is due to sediments in the water, it is generally safe to bathe in.

However, if you’re not sure what is causing the yellow tint, it’s best to err on caution and use bottled water for bathing.

Can you drink yellow water?

The discoloration in your tap water is due to rust floating in the water. So it’s generally safe to drink slightly yellowish water without any health problems.

Can yellow water make you sick?

Yellow water is not aesthetically pleasing to look at. But drinking yellow water won’t pose any health concerns. The water might taste metallic, but it won’t make you sick.

Can a water heater cause yellow water?

A water heater can cause yellow water if the anode rod is aluminum. When the water is heated, the aluminum can react with the oxygen in the water to form rust.

This rust can then mix with the water and cause it to appear yellow.


Conclusion

Running yellowish water on tap could be unsightly. Although drinking slightly yellow water is safe, you might want to take some steps to treat it.

Consulting a reliable, professional water specialist would be able to identify the leading causes of this and find the best solution to prevent yellow water from happening again.

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