What Is The Cause Of Brown Water Coming Out Of The Tap?

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So you turned on your water, and you noticed nasty brown water flowing from the tap. What happened? Should you worry about brown tap water? Is it safe for drinking? How can you get rid of it?

In this guide from Wilco Plumbing, we’ll discuss the most common causes of discoloured water, what you can do about it, and more. If your water has turned brown, read on to get answers to all

of your questions.

What Is The Cause Of Brown Water Coming Out Of The Tap? | Wilco Plumbing Sydney

Brown Water Can Be Caused By Minerals, Sediment, And Rust From Water Mains


If you have brown water flowing out of every tap in your home when you turn on the cold water, and your water is not normally brown, it’s likely because of major construction work or other disturbances in the water main.

Over time, water pipes and water mains collect a lot of minerals, sediment, and even oxidation (rust) from iron pipes while water flows through them. Normally, these deposits settle on the pipes, and water simply flows over them without picking up the deposits.

But if the water main is disturbed – by a fire engine using a hydrant, a water main break, or construction, for example – these deposits can be stirred up, and carried into residential homes.

In most cases, the water will clear on its own within a couple of hours. If you have brown water coming from every tap in your home and your neighbours are having similar issues, this is likely the cause of the issue. If the issue persists for more than a few hours or you also have issues with water pressure, contact your water supplier.

We highly recommend that you avoid drinking water that’s brown or discoloured. It may not be harmful, but the water quality will not be good, and it will have a bad taste. Don’t drink your tap water while it’s brown – go out and purchase some distilled or filtered water instead.

Brown Water Could Be Caused By Corroded Pipes In Your Home

Brown water is not always caused by problems with your water supply. Discoloured brown water could be caused by rusted cast iron pipes in your own home, especially if you notice discoloured water at a single tap, or if you only notice brown water after you’ve returned from a vacation or trip and turn your water back on for the first time.

We recommend contacting Wilco Plumbing right away if you regularly experience brown water in one or more of your taps – even when there are no issues with nearby water mains.

Hot Water That’s Brown Can Indicate An Issue With Your Hot Water System

If you’re only experiencing brown water when you have hot water running, your water heater may have a lot of sediment buildup due to improper maintenance, or the tank itself may be corroded, which can be dangerous. You should contact a plumber right away to have your water heater checked and repaired or replaced.

Contact Wilco Plumbing To Get The Service You Need

If you’re concerned about brown water coming out of your taps in Sydney, Wilco Plumbing can help. You can give us a call at 02 9186 3371 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and get a plumbing check-up by trusted Sydney plumbers.