Discoloured water from the pipe - a cause for concern?
Sieht man aus einer Wasserleitung kommen, so ist man zu Beginn auf jeden Fall stark verunsichert und fragt sich woher das kommen kann. Besonders überlegt man auch, ob dieses Wasser dann gesundheitsschädlich ist.
If you see brown water coming out of a water pipe, you may be very unsettled at first and ask yourself where it can come from. In particular, you wonder whether this water is harmful to your health.
To start with, brown water is usually caused by non-toxic deposits of iron or manganese from the pipes. The corrosion of iron in the pipes turns the water orange to brown. If you have pipes with lead content, the water may even turn black. Another reason can be simply old or dilapidated pipes that cause the water to turn brown.
Health hazard or harmless?
Brown water should not be drunk from the tap. This is because you should first test to see what is causing the discolouration. If the brown discolouration is due to iron or manganese deposits that have been flushed out, then drinking this water for a short time is harmless. However, long-term intake of water containing a large amount of iron or manganese should be avoided. One should be particularly careful with lead pipes. Lead is an element of the heavy metals, which can lead to poisoning if ingested in excess.
However, it can happen that the brown colour indicates other substances that harmful to your health. For example, a burst pipe may have caused a certain amount of soil to get into the drinking water. Likewise, if a pipe bursts, there is a good chance that contaminated surface water will get into the drinking water pipe.
Water from the pipe is brown - what should I do?
What should you do if the water from the tap is no longer clear but has a brownish discolouration?
First of all, as mentioned above, you should not drink the water.
You should definitely run the water from as many taps as possible. It may happen that the water is clear after some time. In this case, one should turn the water off again and check after about half an hour whether the water is still clear.
The next step would be to ask the water supplier if there is a general problem with the water or if there have been several reports in the area.
If you live in a flat, it helps to ask your neighbours if they have the same problem. This way you can narrow down the problem.
Analyse and test the water:
Finally, however, one of the most important points. An exact analysis should definitely be carried out. In this way, you can completely avoid health risks and at the same time analyse the cause. If you analyse the water yourself, without using any tools, you can only find out how the water smells. If it smells earthy or musty, it is most likely because organic material is decomposing in the pipe.
Only with a professional laboratory test, however, can one determine what is really causing the brown colour of the water. This can also particularly determine whether there are any harmful heavy metals in the water. Such a drinking water analysis is therefore beneficial for safety and health.