Well Water Discoloration: What Your Well Water Color Is Telling You

Few things are quite as concerning as turning on your faucet to find a stream of red, brown, or even black water flowing out. While it’s true that an unusual color isn’t always a sign of dangerous drinking water, it can be. Discoloration can also indicate damage or wear to your well system, including underlying conditions that could eventually result in poor-quality or hazardous drinking water.

With this in mind, it’s important to address any changes to your well water as quickly as possible. By understanding what well problems correlate with each color, you can make smarter decisions to ensure the safety of your supply.

Well Water Discoloration

Many situations – from the natural mineral content of your well water to corroded plumbing – can cause your water to change color. No matter the cause, a change in appearance is definitely something to investigate. The color may be something that’s easily remedied with the right kind of whole-house water filtration system. Or, it might reveal a failing component within your well setup or plumbing that must be repaired or replaced. Luckily, the Greco & Haines team is here to help you identify the issue and implement an effective solution.

Let’s break down some of the most common discolorations observed in well and drinking water, their causes, and what they may indicate:

Brown, Red, Orange, or Yellow Well Water

These “rusty” colors often derive from exactly that: rust. Old pipes made of cast iron, steel, or galvanized iron may leach rust into your water supply. In this case, different colors can represent various stages of oxidation or levels of rust concentration.

Rust in your water is not always a health concern. In fact, your well water may naturally contain high levels of iron or manganese, resulting in the same brownish, reddish, or yellowish tone. However, in some cases, rust can indicate corroding pipes that may end up leaking down the road.

If you have a shallow well, it’s also possible (though less common) that brown well water may be resulting from natural tannins, like decaying foliage, being leached into your groundwater source. No matter the cause, it’s best to address your discoloration issues early on. Over time, rusty water can stain your fixtures and clothing and promote a strange flavor in your drinking supply.

Black Well Water

There are a variety of reasons why your well water may appear black. In many cases, this type of discoloration points to magnesium in your water supply, which interacts with oxygen, other minerals, and broken-down water softener resin beads. Highly concentrated rust in your water may also make it appear more black than brown or red.

Black water could also indicate mildew in your well system, a clogged pipe, or even a backup of sewage. These issues can be serious health risks, so it’s essential to call in a professional as soon as possible.

Green or Blue Water

Corrosion of copper plumbing may result in green or bluish water coming out of your taps, as well as the telltale sign of bluish-green stains on your porcelain sink or bathtub. Besides revealing compromised pipes, these colors may also suggest unhealthy levels of copper and other leached metals in your drinking water.

Greenish water may also stem from leaching of the bronze alloys found in some plumbing and water pump components. In warm weather, it may derive from algal growth as well.

Cloudy or Milky-White Water

Milky-white water tends to result from air trapped in your water supply and usually clears after a short period of time. The cause can be confirmed by placing a glass of freshly drawn water on a level surface (such as a countertop or table) and observing it for a few minutes. If the water in the glass clears from the bottom up, air bubbles are the culprit. It’s possible that an issue with the well pump is the ultimate reason for this trapped air.

Cloudy water may also be an indicator of silt or another sediment in your water supply. This can be taken care of easily with the right filter setup. In other cases, this issue could point to a compromised pipe or well casing, both of which warrant assistance from an expert well service.

Water Testing & Whole-House Filtration Systems from Greco & Haines

Any change in the color of your well water should prompt you to evaluate the situation. Again, this discoloration may or may not be a sign of major well problems, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution. At Greco & Haines, we’re proud to supply top-quality water testing services in Woodbridge, Orange, Shelton, and all over CT. By screening your water supply for minerals, chemicals, and contaminants, we can determine exactly what is causing the discoloration. Of course, you should have your water tested at least once per year regardless of whether you’ve noticed any changes to its color.

In addition to addressing damage to your well system, our team can also provide you with the best water filter system for your needs. From water softeners to reverse osmosis and ultraviolet filters, our standalone and multimedia treatment systems can address a wide range of issues within your water supply.

If you’re experiencing strange colors coming from your faucets or staining on your fixtures, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Greco & Haines. Contact us today via our online contact form or by phone at (203) 735-9308, (203) 777-2256, or from any CT area code at 1 (800) 922-2958.