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Question DetailsAsked on 8/14/2012

city water told us sludge is in pipe to house how to fix and could water be dangerous

Water pressure was low city came out did test and said pressure should be 20 and it was 4 due to sludge in main line to house and was told it is home owners problem from meter to house. would like to know if that make water dangerous to drink. the water coming into house is clear looking

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5 Answers


Yes, it is most likely safe to drink, but I would suggest that you flush your pipes by opening a couple of outside faucets and/or opening the faucet on the bathtub. These types of faucets do not have screens that would clog up with debris from the pipes. It might look bad, but it is safe. When you flush the pipes, let the water run for 2 - 5 minutes, or until it runs clear.


Answered 8 years ago by leakdetective


The main pipe to home is over 40 yrs old we run the shower and outside faucets all the time. We were told the pipe needs replacing from the water meter to house. Know of a good plumbing contractor in north miami fl. Thanks

Answered 8 years ago by tdelfin57


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Answered 8 years ago by Member Services


sounds like you need your water main from meter to house replaced ,call angies list!

Answered 8 years ago by wmadix


I realize this response is not timely for your purposes, but I think they may have mislead you. For the info of anyone else who reads this question and responses:

I am presuming they did a static pressure test - just put a pressure gauge on a fitting. As long as you actually have any water flow to the house, what you read on a static pressure gauge, after a few seconds, is what you are getting from the source pipe. Therefore, if you had 4 psi, somewhere you had a pressure regulator or similar device limiting the pressure to that amount - totally unrelated to pipe condition.

Now, IF they did a flowing pressure test, testing while a faucet or hose bib away from the gauge was wide open, then a 4 psi reading would indicate some sort of restriction limiting flow to basically only what one faucet or hose can handle - which could be due to a buildup in the piping, but could also be due to a restricted meter, restriction in a shutoff valve (or partly closed), partly stuck backflow preventer, etc.

In a situation like this, before sinking many hundreds or thousands into water line replacement, I think you would be better off spending $100-150 to have a plumber disconnect the line at the water meter and check that it is putting out full flow, then if that is OK disconnect the pipe at your shutoff valve to check that the shutoff valve and backflow preventer are not the problem. This is especially true if this loss of pressure came fairly suddently, rather than over the course of decades. Of course, if your main water line is over about 40-50 years old, then significant buildup is more likely.

BTW - the "sludge" or mineral buildup in a pipe is generally not hazardous - it is derived from material that came in with the water (usually dissolved minerals like iron and sulfur and calcium and magnagese carbonates) and is in contact with constantly chlorinated water, so the worst it can do to you is feel gritty and cause intestinal upset if a bunch breaks free (like after a major pressure surge or earthquake), but usually the water would look undrinkable before there is enough to cause significant digestive upset - which would be temporary, like an 8 hour flu or mninor food poisoning symptoms.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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