Cloudy water

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On rare occasions, tap water can appear discoloured. If the water is cloudy or contains white particles, it is likely to be caused either by trapped air in the pipework or dissolved chalk particles.

Air bubbles

Air can enter the water supply following repairs to our pipe network – for example, after we have carried out maintenance work or fixed a burst main. It can also occur when a pocket of air becomes trapped in the pipework inside your home.
 
Water with air in it has a cloudy or milky white appearance, caused by the concentration of thousands of tiny air bubbles. This can take several minutes to clear, and will do so from the bottom of the glass upwards.
 
You may also notice that the water splutters out of the tap, which is again caused by trapped air in the pipe. This is quite normal and harmless, and the problem should clear if you run the tap for a few minutes.   
 
However, if this persists please contact us for further advice.

Chalk deposits

A fine white sediment is formed when chalk deposits rise from the natural minerals found in water. The drinking water we supply is generally described as hard, and has a higher concentration of natural minerals than soft water.

The presence of undissolved chalk has a powdery white appearance.

A glass of water containing chalk takes an hour or more to clear, which happens from the top downwards. A fine sediment will then be left at the bottom of the glass.

If you have a domestic water softener fitted it can release chalky white pieces of scale over time.

We advise that these softeners are fitted downstream of the drinking water tap, and are maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Chalk deposits can also be disturbed by a burst main. Any air bubbles or chalk deposits in the mains network – caused either by maintenance or a burst main – should disappear within two to three hours.  

In all of these cases, although the water may look unappealing there is no risk to health. If you have any concerns, please contact us.

Brown or orange water

If you find your cold water looks slightly brown or orange, this could be due to iron deposits that can build up in water mains. These deposits can be disturbed if, for example, a main bursts or maintenance work is carried out.
 
The colouration may disappear if you run the tap for a few minutes. If not, please contact us using the details above. 
 
Alternatively, this may indicate a problem within your property – for instance, deterioration of your storage tank – which would require assistance from a plumber.