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The water coming out of our faucets is yellow. Why is our water yellow and are there any ways to treat it?

If you have red stains in your sinks, or your water has an unpleasant taste and smell, there could be a few reasons. The following are common causes of yellow water.

Sink water yellow? It could be from utility flushing. Your water utility delivers water from the treatment plant to your home through large pipes called mains. Most water companies maintain the system with an annual flushing program which scours away rust and other debris stuck in the pipes. Your water absorbs the rust and becomes yellow. If your water suddenly becomes discolored, check with your local water utility company.

Is only your hot water yellow? If the water coming out of your cold water taps is clear, it’s likely a problem with your water heater. Water heater tanks accumulate minerals at the bottom, and over time, this can turn the hot water yellow. You need to flush out the tank of the water heater in order to clean it and remove the sediment.

Your well or water system may also have iron bacteria, small living organisms which naturally occur in soil, shallow groundwater and surface waters. These bacteria combine iron and oxygen to form deposits of rust, bacterial cells and a slimy material that sticks to well pipes, pumps and plumbing fixtures.

If you have galvanized pipes, a zinc layer over the steel or iron may begin to wear off. The pipes will begin to rust from the inside, which causes the formation of plaques. Over time the plaques dissolve in water, causing a yellow color to appear.

It is always best to call a professional plumber like Roto-Rooter for a proper inspection to diagnose a problem such as yellow water that could lead to a health risk or property damage.

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