Why Is My Tap Water Cloudy?

Cloudy tap water has a few causes. Two common sources of cloudy water are relatively non-harmful.

A common, non-harmful source of cloudy water is air. This introduction of air will typically occur from the pumping of water so this can be from either a well or a municipal source. Don’t be surprised to see this more often during periods of cold weather. This is one of those weird properties of water in that it can hold more oxygen when cold.

If you are on Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, or another municipal source serviced by Milwaukee Water Works, a source here could include the ozone used to disinfect the water. If you see this only at one tap, it’s typically a plumbing or aerating faucet more than a supply issue. However, this is also one of those big issues in responsibly managing your own water quality. Another source of air in water is a leaking or cracked line in your water distribution path. With over 2,000 miles of mains servicing Milwaukee, the air dissipating only indicates air, not the source. Ultraviolet light sanitation may well eliminate any extra concerns.

The easiest way to diagnose cloudy water as a function of your plumbing is to draw a glass of water and allow it to stand for a few moments. If clear, both in the water and bottom of glass, air is your likely suspect.

The second non-harmful cause of cloudy water is particulate. This can include anything from sand to grit to otherwise.   A good way to diagnose this is to draw a glass of water and wait for it to clear. Now, in the bottom of the glass, is there a collection of “stuff?” This is distasteful and unsightly, but can be remedied with pretreatment.

An additional cause of cloudy water can be methane and isn’t remotely as benign as oxygen. It’s methane. This is largely more common in areas with heavy incidences of oil or natural gas drilling, but requires well-ventilated aeration of the water for safe treatment.

If you have any further questions about your cloudy water, or if you would like one of our specialists to come out and do a free water test, call us today! 262.549.7733

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