Centennial Water District(breadcrumbs are unavailable)

Why does my water look cloudy?

Periodically, water coming out of the tap may seem cloudy or milky in appearance. This is not harmful and is usually caused by dissolved air that is found in our water sources and in our water distribution pipes.

The cloudy or milky appearance may be caused by two factors. First, water that is under pressure in the water pipes can contain more air than water that is not under pressure. Water in the pipes is pressurized, which helps to get the water all the way from the water tank to your home. Water under pressure holds more air than water that is not pressurized. Once the water comes out of your tap, the water is no longer under pressure and the air comes out of solution as oxygen bubbles — similar to a carbonated soft drink. This is not a health risk.  You can let the water sit in an open container until the bubbles naturally disappear. 

Secondly, the water in the distribution system is very cold and can contain more air than warm water. This usually happens during very cold weather because the solubility of air in water increases as water pressure increases and/or water temperature decreases. Cold water holds more air than warm water.

In the winter, water travels from the reservoir, which is very cold, and warms up during its travel to your tap. Some of the air that is present is no longer soluble, and comes out of solution. When the drinking water comes into your home the water warms up and when you release it from the faucet you are removing the pressure. The air in the water then forms small bubbles as the air leaves the water and it may look cloudy or milky. The bubbles will eventually rise to the top of the glass and the cloudiness will dissipate. If you fill a glass with water, the water should begin to clear from the bottom to the top. Eventually the entire glass will clear as air leaves the water.

The presence of cloudy water coming out of your tap usually lasts for a few days and will go away on its own. To help clear up your cloudy water, fill a pitcher of water and let it stand in the refrigerator overnight. But remember, it is safe to consume the water despite its cloudy appearance and waiting for it to clear is not necessary.

For more information, contact Centennial Water at 303-791-2185 ext. 3523.