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Q:

The water from my tap is discolored (red, brown or yellow). What is causing that, and is it safe to drink?

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Reddish/brown water is caused when mineral deposits, usually iron and manganese, in the water mains are scoured off the pipe walls. This may happen if there is a main break in the area or if a hydrant in your neighborhood has been opened. The Water Utility routinely flushes the water mains throughout the system. This activity can also be the cause of short-term discolored water. The Water Utility does not recommend that you drink or cook with discolored water. Discolored water is typically a temporary problem and after the main is fixed or the flushing is over, running the tap for a few minutes should clear the line of any discolored water. If you have questions or concerns, you should call the Water Utility Water Quality Manager. more
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