Why is my water discoloured?

On rare occasions tap water may become discoloured, appear cloudy, or appear to have very small particles in it.

Discolouration can range from a light straw yellow colour to dark brown. It can be caused by a number of things including:

  • Naturally occurring substances
  • Disturbance of mains deposits
  • Corrosion of service pipes
  • Internal plumbing issues.

In most cases discoloured water is not harmful and can be cleared by running the first incoming cold water tap (usually in the kitchen) at a trickle until it clears.

Very occasionally water suppliers receive calls about "tiny particles" or "bits" in their tap water. This can be caused by:

  • Planned or unplanned work to the water supply network which causes sediment in the pipes to shift (quite often this is a dark red, brown colour)
  • Small dark grey or black particles can occasionally be caused if your pipework is made from lead. This is most likely if your house was built before 1970.

For more information, please contact your  water supplier.

Please note: If your water is blue, pink, green or any other colour not described above, please do not drink the water or use it for cooking purposes until you have sought advice from your water supplier.

Find Your Nearest Approved Plumber

Our Partners

WaterSafe Approved Contractors' Scheme Operators

Anglian WaterAssociation of Plumbing & Heating ContractorsCIPHESevern TrentSNIPEFThames WaterWIAPS