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Why is My Tap Water Cloudy

Cloudy tap water is very unappealing for most homeowners. Water is an integral resource in our daily lives. For this reason, cloudy tap water can understandably be disconcerting.  

You may start to worry whether your water is safe to drink or bathe in. You may even start questioning health and well being! Unclear water can have a substantial negative impact in our lives. 

Fortunately, with cloudy water, the cause is easily explainable. Below we explore the various ways your tap water can become cloudy.  

Air Bubbles

A common cause of cloudy tap water is air bubbles. This can be due to either an increase in water pressure or a change in temperature. 

Pressure is what gets the water from the suppliers to your home. For this reason, pressure is necessary throughout your water system. Pressurised water will contain more air. 

This will lead to bubbles, as you release air while your tap runs. The accumulating bubbles will then cause a cloudy appearance. 

Changes in temperature can result in a similar effect. During the colder seasons, water heats up as it travels to your tap. However some cold water can remain by the time it reaches your faucet.  

Cold water contains more air, with some air being insoluble. As it flows through your tap, release of the air will cause a cloudy appearance. 

Recent plumbing work may also trap air within your pipes. This can also cause your tap water to appear cloudy. 

Cloudy water due to air bubbles is completely harmless. Your water is perfectly safe to drink. Just let it sit for a few minutes. Eventually, the cloudiness will disappear. 

Hard Water

Hard water can also cause your tap water to appear cloudy. Hard water contains high traces of dissolved minerals, like calcium or magnesium. 

Having hard water will depend on where you live. Areas that feature limestone or chalk deposits will have an abundance of calcium or magnesium. 

It is estimated that eighty-five percent of North American households experience hard water. 

There are several municipalities, here in Canada, that have extreme cases of hard water. Guelph and Waterloo are among the most notorious.    

When water passes through the sediment, these minerals can seep into the water. This will lead to the formation of hard water.

If you fill up a glass with cloudy water from your tap and it never clears, you likely have hard water. 

Seeing white spots on dishes and fresh laundry after washing is also a sign of hard water. Appearance of white mineral deposits on your plumbing appliances over time is also another indicator. 

To get rid of hard water, you will need a plumber to install the appropriate filtration system for your home.

A reverse osmosis filtration system will separate the extra minerals in the water. The removal of these minerals will eliminate the cloudiness. 

Having a filtration system will not only remove minerals, but also dangerous bacteria and pathogens.

Methane Gas

A less common culprit for cloudy tap water is methane gas. This cause may come across as surprising, it often occurs with homeowners who source water from a well.  

One indicator of methane gas in your water supply is the presence of air bubbles and water sputtering when you open the faucet. 

This naturally occurring gas is very hard to detect. It has no color, odor, or taste. While it may seem scary to have methane gas in your water, it is harmless.  

You can have a plumber run tests to determine the methane concentration in the water supply. 

Below 10 mg/L is safe. However, over 28 mg/L will require some attention to reduce the methane in your water supply. 

Depending on the methane levels, you will need to install either a vented well cap or aeration system.

Is Cloudy Tap Water Safe To Drink?

It depends. Cloudy tap water due to air bubbles is not harmful. Air in the water will rise to the top and eventually disappear. 

If you were to leave cloudy tap water to sit for a bit, it will clear itself up as it warms up. 

However, cloudy water due to harmful substances is a cause for concern. You will require the help of a plumber to perform a water test to verify this. 

Water with contaminants can be harmful only if they exceed certain levels. A plumbing professional can test your water to make sure it’s within a safe threshold. 

Cloudy tap water is harmless in most cases. However, other tap water colours, such as yellow or brown are more worrying. 

You will need to have a professional evaluate your water supply as soon as possible to determine the cause. 

Kitchen Plumbing Repair With True Service Plumbing 

Experiencing cloudy tap water? Give us a call

Our licensed plumbers will assess your home’s plumbing system and determine the root cause of your issue, and perform the services necessary to get your water back to normal. 

From cloudy tap water, faucet repair, to filtration system installation, True Service Plumbing has your back when it comes to all things plumbing. 

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