Tap Water Brown

If you’ve ever turned on your faucet and noticed that your tap water has a brown color, you’re not alone.

Tap water discoloration can be concerning, but understanding the potential causes behind it can help you address the issue effectively.

In this article, we will explore the common reasons why tap water turns brown and provide you with practical solutions.

Sediments and Rust:

Sediments, such as rust, sand, or dirt particles, can accumulate in old or corroded water pipes.

When the water flows through these pipes, the sediments can get stirred up, leading to brown tap water.


  • Run the tap water for a few minutes to see if the color clears. If it does, the discoloration is likely due to sediments.
  • Contact your water utility company to report the issue and request a flushing of the water lines to remove sediments.
  • Consider installing a whole-house sediment filter or point-of-use filters to prevent sediments from entering your faucets.
    • Aqua-Pure is a highly rated under-sink point-of-use system. Learn more on Amazon.
Point of Use Filter for Brown Tap Water
Aqua-Pure Filter – Amazon

Pipe Corrosion:

Corroded pipes can cause tap water to turn brown due to the presence of iron or other metals in the pipes.

Aging or deteriorating water infrastructure can contribute to this problem.


  • If you suspect pipe corrosion, contact a professional plumber to inspect your plumbing system and determine the extent of the issue.
  • Consider replacing corroded pipes to prevent further discoloration of your tap water.

Water Main Breaks:

Water main breaks or disruptions in the water supply can introduce dirt, debris, and sediments into the system.

This can result in brown tap water for a temporary period.


  • Contact your water utility company to report the issue and inquire about any water main breaks or repairs happening in your area.
  • If the discoloration persists after the repairs, run the tap water for a few minutes to clear out any residual sediments.

Naturally Occurring Minerals:

Some regions have high levels of naturally occurring minerals, such as iron or manganese, in their water sources.

These minerals can cause tap water to appear brown or rusty.


  • Install a water softener or iron/manganese removal system to reduce the mineral content in your water supply.
  • Consider using a water filter or pitcher with a filter specifically designed to remove iron and manganese.

Contaminated Water:

In rare cases, brown tap water can indicate contamination from substances like organic matter, bacteria, or chemicals.

It’s essential to address this issue promptly to ensure the safety of your drinking water.


  • Contact your water utility company immediately to report the brown tap water and request a water quality test.
  • In the meantime, avoid using the discolored water for drinking or cooking purposes.
  • Consider using bottled water or an alternative water source until the issue is resolved.


Brown tap water can be a disconcerting sight, but by understanding the potential causes, you can take appropriate action to address the issue.

Whether it’s sediments, pipe corrosion, water main breaks, minerals, or contamination, there are steps you can take to restore clear and safe tap water in your home.

If the problem persists or you have concerns about water quality, contacting your water utility company or consulting a professional plumber can provide valuable assistance.

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