Skip to main content

Why do I have brown or rusty colored water? 

Brown or rusty colored water is commonly associated with your water heater. It is typically caused by the inside of your water heater tank starting to rust. Water heaters usually have a lifespan of 8-10 years before they require replacing. 

In areas like ours, where whe have  hard water for half of the year, the life of your hot water heater can be even shorter. These issues occurring only only with your hot water and not your cold water indicates the problem is with your water heater.  Check both hot and cold water independently to see if the discoloration is prevalant in one, or both.

If the discoloration is persistent in the cold water as well, call our office at 303-688-8550. We may need to come flush the waterline near your home to remove excess iron in the system.  

If you are seeing  discoloration in the cold water in your home, this is caused by excess iron in the water. Iron is prevalent in our aquifer source water, and we do treat for it. However, we are unable to get 100% of it. A small amount of iron remains in solution as it passes our filters, over time reacts with the chlorine in the water and will come out solution. This excess iron can then slowly build up over time on the inside of the pipe walls and our distribution system in a process known as scaling. Occasionally due to a direction in flow change, or an excess buildup in an isolated area this iron can sluff off and cause the water to become discolored. 

The EPA breaks contaminants into two separate categories, iron is considered a tier 2 contaminant, meaning that it is not regulated and has no known negative health effects either short or long term. These are contaminants that only have a negative effect on the aesthetic qualities of the water, meaning taste, color, or smell. We're not actually even required to treat for it, and many other districts don't.  We are undergoing a large number of renovations at our water treatment plant to improve our iron removal,  and anticipate this work to be complete near the end of 2024.

Join our mailing list