Cloudy water can result from either air or suspended solids, both of which can be detected by conducting two simple tests.
The first test, called the resting test, involves pouring a fresh glass of water and allowing it to sit (“rest”) for a minimum of ten minutes. Tiny air bubbles are frequently introduced into the water supply through pumps and other equipment used in the delivery process. If air is the cause of the cloudiness, the resting period allows the air to rise to the surface and escape, thus restoring your water to a clear state. These air bubbles are not a cause for concern and are harmless to your health and safety. However, they can indicate issues with your existing plumbing.
If the ten-minute resting test does not resolve the cloudiness problem or if water clarity improves but sediment settles to the bottom of the glass, then you likely have suspended solids or sediment in your water supply. Sediment problems can be determined through a visual inspection of the water-using appliances, faucets, and fixtures in your home or business. Yellow, orange, or black stains on toilets and sinks are all indicators of suspended solids in your water and can be a persistent and ongoing problem if present. Iron, dirt, silt, and manganese oxide are examples of debris that could be present in your water, resulting in cloudiness and staining.
IS CLOUDY WATER SAFE?
Cloudy water resulting from air bubbles is safe for use and poses no health risk.
However, if the water is cloudy due to suspended solids, it may not be safe to consume, and using it is not recommended until further testing is conducted to determine the exact nature and extent of the impurities.
WHY IS HOT WATER CLOUDY?
The occurrence of cloudy hot water flowing from your tap is a normal phenomenon. This happens because the water molecules in your system expand as they are heated by the water heater, which leads to the entrapment of other gases, resulting in small air bubbles. However, once your hot water has settled, these bubbles should rise and disperse, causing the cloudiness to dissipate.
FIXING CLOUDY TAP WATER
If you notice that all of your faucets are dispensing cloudy water, the issue likely originates from your municipality or community well. Air bubbles resulting from maintenance or repair work can cause the cloudiness, but they should dissipate once the maintenance is complete.
If the cloudy water persists for an extended period, we suggest contacting your water provider to inquire whether any ongoing maintenance is being performed and when it will be concluded.
In the case where cloudy water is only emerging from specific faucets, cleaning the aerator might resolve the issue. Simply detach it, clean it with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, and then reattach it.
If your cloudy water is due to sediment or other impurities, a water filtration system is the most effective solution.