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"Dirty" or Discolored Water

If you are experiencing "Dirty" or Discolored Water

A dirty or discolored water event is normally caused by sediment being stirred up when the direction or flow of water changes in the water mains.  Common causes include hydrant use, hydrant replacement, valve turning, routine maintenance, firefighting, main breaks, or nearby construction.

There are no health hazards associated with the sediment in the water.  The sediment is always in our system but is only visible when a change in flow is enough to disturb the sediment.  Customers may choose to drink bottled water while they wait for the discoloration to clear.  In most cases the water will clear on its own within two hours or less. If your water is discolored:

  • Use the water to flush toilets, but avoid running the water through filters, hot water heaters, and washing machines.
  • Wait an hour for the system to settle, and then run water at one tap for 2-3 minutes to see if it clears.  If it does not clear, wait another hour and try again. When the water runs clear, run water throughout the house to flush any sediment that may have been drawn into your pipes.