On occasion, the water in the system can become discolored. Although water is not aesthetically pleasing when it becomes discolored due to natural sediments, there are no adverse health effects if the discolored water is consumed.
All naturally occurring waters have some sediment as part of their makeup. Most of the time it goes unnoticed and is only observable when it becomes concentrated.
Bastrop County Water District obtains its water supply from five ground water wells. Water has naturally occurring minerals such as iron, silica and calcium in various quantities. Over time, these minerals accumulate inside water mains and internal household plumbing.
On occasion, when the flow of the water inside the water mains or in the household plumbing increases, the sediment will come off the pipes and be carried by the water. The water tends to appear a yellow-orange color due to the iron oxide (rust) or other particles.
The most common event that causes discolored water is when a water main breaks causing the flow in the mains to increase significantly. When the water becomes discolored due to a main break, it tends to clear after the system “settles down” once again. We often will flow water out of a hydrant to clear the water from the main, and we encourage people to run their water through the service line to clear the discoloration.
If rust colored stains have developed on your fixtures, there are products used to remove the stains very effectively, such as Red-B-Gone.
Many times, discolored water is due to the accumulation of rust in the hot water tank. If the discolored water is limited to the hot water tap, then you can determine the the discolored water is associated with the hot water tank. It is always beneficial to flush out the hot water tank every six months or so to remove a possible source of discolored water, it well also improve the heating efficiency by removing the materials from insulating the heating element.