Have you ever wondered or have been concerned about why the water coming out of your faucet is sometimes brown? Yeah; me too. Well, generally speaking, the reason for brown water coming out of your faucet is a plumbing or water source issue. Primarily iron causes the discoloration and isn’t necessarily unhealthy or dangerous unless you suck down several gallons an hour for several hours. That would be bad for anyone.
There are several other reasons that can turn your drinking tap water brown and usually it is a piping issue or can even be from the water source; especially if the source is a well. Well, we’ve all seen it and it is unfortunately a part of life here on Earth. Water is an absolute necessity and safe water is an absolute necessity. (Yes, I know I used the same phrase twice in one sentence. I hope you don’t mind). Above and beyond all else, water is the very basis for life itself and having a run of brown stuff come out of your kitchen faucet can be a little concerning, but honestly, have you ever known anyone to keel over onto the kitchen floor as a result of sipping a few slugs of brownish water? Me neither. Considering the the things I’ve shoveled down my gullet over the years, I’m not certain that a little bit of iron rich water is going to be a critical threat. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and turn that cold side on and let the brown flow away. That is to say, if you are dying of thirst and you need a drink immediately, otherwise, just wash your hands and call a plumber. If you really want to fix the problem, there are many options for purifying your home’s drinking water.
I must admit, I’ve consumed brown water a few times during my life and it did taste a little metallic. But again, the things that we put in our mouths as the dumb little kids that we were, it’s a miracle we grew old enough to learn how to spell and write stuff. Right?
You can read an endless amount of info on the net and find a myriad of reasons and explanations concerning the brown menace flowing into your drinking glass. The conspiracy theorists will invariably tout a government plot aimed at turning your teeth brown so you can never get a date and thus never reproduce consequently controlling the population. And then there are the “Chicken Littles” who see the color brown as a sign of the Apocalypse and run screaming down the street. And then there’s me. I say drink it if your life depends on it (what are the odds, right?) but call a professional to come check it out and set your mind at ease. After all, peace of mind is more healthy than you may think; in my opinion.
Other than piping, plumbing and/or water heater issues, the possibility of mineral contaminants coming from a private well or community well (city water) is there. Many tests by a professional can determine the safety of your drinking water and some may even be free of charge. The government is required to test all city water so if you are connected to a city supply; odds are you have a plumbing issue in your home. If you have a private well on your land, well, maybe the discoloration is giving you those extra minerals and iron your doctor has been telling you to add to your diet. But again, better safe than sorry.
Man kind has been around for hundreds of years and brown water has never accounted for mass extinctions, nor has it been used in warfare or the crusades so far as I know, but these days brown water in the ol’ drinking supply is causing some widespread concern. Recent nationwide stories such as the lead contamination in Flint Michigan has put the heebie-jeebies back into the collective consciousness of the nation. I’m a Michigan native so this scare is real. However, the brownish colored water that occasionally (or rarely to be sure) spews out of the average households water faucets hasn’t made it to the mainstream media to my knowledge, and most professionals will shrug it off as the quintessential pipe and/or well issue.
The private well issue has more potential to become a health risk in my estimation in that the proximity of a privately drilled well could be a cause for concern if you live near a large city with industries or high traffic. Surface contaminants in cities and the surrounding areas of large metropolitan populations ultimately seep back into the Earth from whence they came; eventually reaching aquifers that may be supplying your well. Regular testing of private wells is a best practice because the dangerous stuff doesn’t necessarily turn your water brown. In fact, it’s my understanding that the dangerous stuff is largely invisible.
So if you’re out in the hot dry air all day mowing your lawn and cleaning out the gutters etc., and are getting a little parched and decide to get a cool drink of water from the kitchen faucet, don’t be too concerned about short burst of brown belching into your glass, just dump it out and get an ice cold bottle of store bought water out of your fridge and knock it back. There’s no law that says you have to drink household tap water, but there are laws regulating it and America has the best tap water in the world. (Careful of that bottled water though, just sayin’).