Cloudy or milky tap water can be disconcerting. You may wonder if it’s safe to drink or bathe in, or you may wonder if you have some sort of plumbing problem. If you run the water for a few minutes, it may go away, but still – what causes tap water to become cloudy in the first place?
Air bubbles are the number-one culprit in why your tap water may be cloudy. Specifically, you may have air trapped in your plumbing, or your water pressure may have increased. You may also notice cloudy water if you recently had some plumbing work done.
The best way to tell whether the problem is air bubbles is to fill up a glass of water and let it sit. Does the cloudiness begin to clear from the bottom up until it is completely gone? Then your problem is most likely air bubbles.
You don’t really need to do anything about this if you don’t want to. But, if this starts to become a real annoyance for you, our professionals at Plumbing by Jake can install an air elimination valve to reduce the number of air bubbles in your water.
This may sound gross, but cloudy water can also result from tiny pieces of rock and sand ending up in your water. Of course, this kind of sediment is generally harmless – it’s just the idea of it that you may not like.
The best way to tell if sediment is in your water is to, again, fill a glass and let it sit. If your water does not clear, then this is a sign that you have tiny particles in your water. If that’s the case, installing a sediment filter should do the trick. However, if bacteria are the cause, then you will need to disinfect the water as well as filter it. A professional can test the water for you to help you be sure.
A third and less common reason for cloudy tap water is the presence of methane gas in your water supply. You may have methane gas in your water if:
- Your water supply is well water
- You notice water spitting out of your faucet
- There are white air bubbles in your water
What to Do if There’s Methane in Your Water
How you handle methane gas in your water depends largely on the amount of methane gas is present. And the best way to know how much methane is in your water is to have a professional come and test it if you suspect its presence.
For instance, if you have less than 10 mg/L, the U.S. Geological Survey considers this a safe amount of methane. However, anything over 28 mg/L requires immediate action to lower the amount of methane in your water.
If a water test confirms methane in your water supply, the Penn State Extension Water Quality Department recommends the following:
- Less than 7 mg/L: You should schedule regular testing of your water, but other than that you do not need to take any action.
- Between 7 and 28 mg/L: You should have a vented well cap installed.
- Over 28 mg/L: You should install an aeration system.
Having Trouble with Your Tap Water? Call Plumbing By Jake!
Cloudy tap water is not usually a cause for concern. More often than not, if you have cloudy tap water this is the result of air pressure causing bubbles to become trapped in your water. However, in certain situations, you may need to invest additional time and money in discovering the true source of your cloudy tap water. You don’t need to refrain from drinking or bathing in it, though, as cloudy tap water is generally considered safe.
If you need a professional to test your water, we here at Plumbing by Jake can help! Over the years, we have seen every kind of tap water issue there is – and fixed it! Plus, we’re around 24/7 to help you with your plumbing emergencies, whether you notice them during the afternoon or in the middle of the night.
Give us a call at (928) 377-5910, and one of our experienced team members will be happy to help set you up with a service appointment. You can also fill out the contact form on our website for non-emergencies. We offer our customers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all our repairs and installations. We pride ourselves on being punctual so that we minimize our interruption of your day. So, if you have a plumbing issue, or if you think you might, don’t delay – call today!