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Discolored Water

Most members have experienced discolored or brown water at least once since they have been on our system. It is important to understand what the discolored water is and why it is happening.
Why is my water brown?
Your water may be brown because of sediment, minerals or iron that have built up in the water mains over the years. These sediments can break loose and enter your home’s water supply, causing the water to appear brown or discolored. If you notice that the water coming out of your taps is brown, it may be because of nearby construction work or some other occurrence that has disturbed the deposits. During repairs, there’s a change in water pressure and/or change in flow of direction which often dislodges loose deposits from the piping. After any construction work, we do flush the area for normally 24 hours, and sometimes longer. FWSC has been in business for 50 years and we replace water mains as needed. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to replace every water main because of sediment build up.
Is The Water Dangerous or Poisonous?
No, iron is a naturally occurring element in the soil and is not considered harmful unless it is present in high concentrations.
How do I get rid of brown water?
Check to see if the discolored water is only from the cold or hot water in your home. If it’s from the hot water only, it could be due to a problem with your water heater and may require flushing. Rust on the inside of your tank can cause the water to become brown. This can be remedied by draining and refilling your water heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If the brown water is occurring in both the cold and hot water, please contact our office immediately to confirm we are flushing in your area. With over 350 miles of pipe in the ground, we are not always aware of water issues in the system until members report them to us.
A few other instances of discoloration are identified as below:
Milky Water – Milky water is simply water with air that has dissolved in the water. This occurs in high and low spots in the distribution system or when repairs are made. This can be cleared by FWSC flushing the distribution lines in your area.
Rotten Egg Smell – This is caused by hydrogen sulfide gas – which is naturally occurring in well water. This smell occurs more often in weekend homes where the water sits unused for a while and becomes stagnant-like. You would need to run your water to clear this smell. An electric water heater may also inadvertently produce hydrogen sulfide. Typically, these water heaters include a magnesium anode rod (made of magnesium sulfate) to help prevent corrosion of the water heater. If this anode rod corrodes, this can result in the production of free electrons in the water, which stimulate the reaction between sulfate-reducing bacteria and sulfate that produces hydrogen sulfide (and therefore the rotten egg smell). This is more likely to occur when water is left in the water heater for a period of time and can go away once the water in the heater is used. If the smell continues, the anode rod may need to be replaced.
Small Black Particles in the Water – This is usually caused by deterioration of rubber gaskets or hoses in your personal system. These particles can be cleared by replacing the gasket or hoses.
If you ever have any problems or concerns about your water, please contact our office at (979) 968-6475. The sooner we know about the issue, the sooner we can get it resolved.
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