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Question DetailsAsked on 5/8/2018

after the city changed my meter black water started coming out of the faucet. This happening every six months - Why

The first time the black water was noticed I was told that i should have let the water flow to flush out the pipes...i did run the water for 30 mins and the water cleared up. About 6 months later same thing , so i did the same thing this time a little more than 30 mins. Now approximately 6 month again the same thing is happening...i'm getting black brown water and I have City water

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1 Answer


Here are links to several previous similar questions with answers, FYI:

Some of them address hot water only being black or well water, so consider which parts may or may not be applicable to your case.

Usually, black water is from corrosion of the piping, which gets knocked loose by the water being turned off and the line depressurized (likely your cause), or sometimes by a surge in water pressure or flow through the line, occasionally by equipment operating over a shallow buried line. It can also be from breaking loose of algae growing in the lines, or from built-up silt being flushed out by the water being turned off or allowed to flow at higher flow rate than normal.

I would ask the city water department to check it out - and ask if it is coinciding with unusual water demand in their system (which can kick up sediment in the pipes), seasonal change of water source, or perhaps seasonal change in chlorination which could be changing the buildup of algae or mineralization in your water. Even seasonal temperature changes can change the chemistry in the pipes, sometimes, to cause this - usually in warmer climates.

If they will not check it out, then a plumber - first thing would normally be to disconnect the line at the meter and see if the incoming water is black. If so, trying to get the utility to check the water at the main would be the next step. If not, then the lines to your house or in your house would be the source, assuming both cold and hot water are black. Opening up the pipes a couple of places would quickly show if you have a lot of built up corrosion products, algae, precipitated minerals, or such in your pipes. Sometimes they can be treated and flushed out (like with some types of algae) but usually if heavily encrusted, the solution is pipe replacement, or if in the incoming water but not interior pipes, putting in a water treatment system to filter out the material causing the blackening.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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