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Why is My Water Brown?

Have you ever gone to turn on your bathtub faucet only to see gross, brown water come spewing out? Not good. It’s bad enough if your water seems anything but crystal clean, but to have it completely discolored and brown is a whole other story. There are several reasons why your water could be brown, including:

A New Water Source

If your municipal water supplier changed the location from which they’re sourcing your water, it can cause your water to become brown or otherwise discolored. This happens because the source change can disrupt the water flow and its qualities.

Corroded Pipes

If your plumbing is older or made of iron or copper, after a while the insides of the pipe can corrode and the broken down material can flow through your water, making it discolored. If you know you have older or iron pipes, it’s important to have them inspected to ensure they’re in good condition.

Organic Deposits

As natural water moves through supply lines, a layer of dirt, minerals, and other sediments can develop at the bottom of the lines. If there is anything that would make the water move faster, such as a water main break or fire hydrant use, the rush could pick up the sediments and leave you with brown water.


Acid rain is, unfortunately, a reality, and if rainwater picks up chemicals from the air or ground, it can flow into the source of your water supply and pollute it enough for it to turn brown.

With more than 100 years of combined professional experience, Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical provides water conditioning services to residential customers. If you are tired of having hard water stains on your glassware or having water that looks or tastes odd, call us today to discuss your water conditioning options!