Water main breaks, firefighting activities, vehicle accidents involving fire hydrants, unusually high demand and changes in the operations of a distribution system can increase the speed or change the direction of water traveling through water mains. When this happens, naturally occurring minerals in the water are stirred up and discolor the water that flows out of faucets when turned on.
The Township works to keep water discoloration to a minimum by cleaning water mains on a regular basis. If water is determined unsafe to drink customers will receive a “boil water” alert.
What to Do
If the cold water remains discolored for more than 24 hours, please contact the Township so a crew can be dispatched to find the cause of the discolored water.
Flushing The Plumbing
If the water is lightly discolored, try running a cold-water faucet for five to 10 minutes to clear out internal plumbing. Flush your toilets two or three times. If the initial cold-water flush does not clear up the problem, wait about an hour and repeat flushing.
You can also remove the aerator on the faucet (located directly under the faucet where the water comes out) with your fingers or pliers by twisting it to the left. Clean the small screen in the aerator and flush the faucet out with cold water. Avoid running hot water if the cold water is discolored. This will minimize filling the hot water tank with the discolored water.
Laundry & Stains
Temporarily discolored water can sometimes stain fabrics, especially light colors. Wait until water runs clear at the tap before using a washing machine, and then wash a load of darker clothes first. If you were washing clothes when you first discovered the discolored water, it is better to stop the cycle while it is full and wait until clean water is available to finish. If you allow the water to empty from the washing machine and go into the spin cycle, it is more likely to cause permanent staining to the laundry items. Do not use chlorine bleach if you rewash stained laundry; bleach will set the stains. Instead, use a product made to remove rust stains like RIT, available at CVS, Walmart and grocery stores.
Discolored water is not unique to our water system. Water distribution systems experience this temporary issue for various reasons stated above. While the Township works to mitigate discolored water from happening, the Township does not reimburse cost to run water, purchase cleaning products or clothing.