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Few things are as alarming as your well water turning yellow. Though this is nothing to be worried about, but it can be a symptom of a more serious problem in some circumstances.
The causes of yellow well water differ, but it is usually just a clue that the water needs to be treated. In this article, I will discuss some of the most common causes of yellow well water and also share some tips on how to fix them.
So if you want to know why your well water is turning yellow, read on! The following are the causes and how to fix them.
Common Causes of Yellow Well Water
Contaminants from the Water Supply
The presence of some impurities in a water supply might cause the water to turn yellow.
Example of these contaminants is iron, copper, zinc, and lead. You are more likely to find iron and manganese if you have a private well.
When manganese stains, it tends to be more of a dark grey/black shade, but in your water, it may take on a darker yellowish shade when mixed with iron.
Public water has lower levels of manganese and iron, but it depends on the quality of water in your neighborhood, you may notice discoloration if these contaminants are present in higher-than-average amounts.
Iron can change the color of the water to yellow, orange, or brown, also leave stains and give it a musty odor. Iron, when combined with bacteria, can form a sludge-like substance that can obstruct water flow.
Zinc is also found in wells, and it can change the color of your well water.
Another contaminant to be cautious of is lead, especially if you know that your home’s water systems contain lead. Lead, on the other hand, can be colorless, depending on the contaminants it comes into contact with.
Rusty Plumbing System
Rusty pipes are another major cause of yellow well water. If your water comes from an old well, the pipes may be composed of iron, and rust could be the source of the problem.
Water takes up microscopic bits of iron and rust as it flows through these pipes, turning them yellow. Though this is not harmful to your health, it can cause staining and clogging.
If your well water is yellow and your pipes are rusted, the best solution is to replace them. This is a time-consuming and expensive project, but it is the only method to confirm that your water is iron and rust-free. Hiring an expert to do the job is important to ensure that it is properly done.
Rusty or Corroded Water Fixtures (eg: Faucet, Showerhead):
If you have yellow water from tap, the first thing to check is if the faucet is corroded. If so, it is very easy to replace the faucet. Maybe it’s time to overhaul the system.
To check if one of your faucets has corroded and the water has turned yellow, just turn on another faucet in your home and see if the water looks better. To make it easier, fill two glasses with water and compare them side by side.
Rusty Water Appliances (eg: Water Heater):
Another component of your home’s plumbing that can rust is your water heater. A rusted water heater may leak a small quantity of rust into your water supply, turning it yellow, brown, or orange in color.
There is an easy way to determine if your water is yellow due to a rusty heater. The best way is to turn on both the hot and cold water faucets at the same time. If the color of your hot water is stained, you know it’s most likely due to a problem with your heater.
Organic material in your water supply, such as tannins, is another common cause of your well water turning yellow, especially if you have a shallow well.
If you are familiar with wine, you have probably heard of tannins, but they are found all throughout nature, not only in grape skin.
Tannins are the result of the natural decomposition of vegetation and fermentation.
Because groundwater seeps through many layers of decaying soil and vegetation, there’s a good chance that it will have turned a yellow shade when it reaches your well’s aquifer.
Tannins, on the other hand, are completely safe to consume. Organic particles in your well water can render it an unpleasant yellow color and make it smell musty, earthy, and even fishy.
I occasionally smell something strange and musty in my well water, which I believe is just organic particles decomposing, and it goes away in a few days.
Iron Bacteria in Well Water:
If you have yellow water from well, it is possibly due to the iron bacteria.
These are microscopic organisms that live in water and soil. They acquire their energy by oxidizing metals like manganese, iron, copper, and other minerals.
This process can cause the water to become discolored, clogged, and discolored. Iron bacteria are the likely cause if your well water becomes yellow or brown and has a slimy texture. Though this is not a health risk, it can be very frustrating.
The first step is to determine the type of bacteria present, after which you may choose the best treatment.
Iron bacteria are tough to remove, and you may remove them through pasteurization, chlorination, and advanced filtering.
As the water flow increases and disturbs the sediment, leaking pipes can cause discolored water. If you notice this sign, it signifies that your pipes have been severely damaged.
These leaks can occur both inside and outside your home. Contamination of water can cause it to change color. The rust inside damaged pipes usually causes the water to change color.
It is possible that the supply line has been exposed to underground hazardous materials. This is very common in homes that have not replaced their supply lines in years.
How to Fix Yellow Well Water
It can be difficult to get rid of yellow water in your well, but it is important to figure out what is causing it and take steps to fix it.
Depending on the nature of the condition, there are a variety of treatments available. Read on to learn some of the ways you can fix these problems.
Install a Whole House Water Filter
These water filters purify water by removing all impurities, bad smells, chlorine, and an undesirable taste, restoring the color of the water, and also allowing you to make alkaline water with an activated carbon filter to get rid of yellow water.
There’s also a faucet filter. These filters are low-cost and effective in reducing or removing the most prevalent contaminants. They can also improve the taste and color of the water.
Replace Rusted Pipes
If rusty pipes are causing your yellow water, the only way to fix the problem is to replace the pipes in your home. This is a major task, so unless you are a qualified plumber, it is best left to leave it to professionals.
It will cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand bucks depending on the number of pipe you need to replace and the plumber you choose.
For your health’s sake, getting rid of this dangerous rust is something you should try to do as soon as possible.
Replace the Rusty Faucets
Replacing a faucet is a complex process that, if done wrongly, can cause more damage to your property or plumbing.
It’s important to hire a professional plumber to avoid breaking your new faucet or incurring an expensive plumbing repair.
Effect of Yellow Well Water on Health
Your health is not at risk if the water contains iron bacteria such as iron, manganese, and other organic substances.
While rust is not harmful in small amounts, it is best to avoid drinking rust-contaminated water to protect your health. Since iron is easily absorbed by the body, it is safe to shower with yellow tap water.
Long-term contact with high mineral content water can cause skin and hair problems. Prolonged exposure to water with a high mineral content might cause your skin to become dry. The problem will be resolved by eliminating the mineral content from the skin and hair.
FAQs for Yellow Water
The following are some of the most common questions regarding yellow water.
1. Is it safe to drink yellow water from the tap?
Although yellow water from the tap is usually safe to drink, it’s best to avoid it until you figure out what’s causing the discoloration.
The safety of yellow well water is determined by the cause of the problem. The water is safe to drink if it is due to its high mineral content.
But, if iron bacteria are the cause of the problem, the water can become contaminated with harmful bacteria.
If you observe a color change in your well water, you should have it tested right away. This will help in determining the source of the problem and whether the water is safe to drink.
Contaminants in your well water can cause a variety of health complications, from minor gastrointestinal troubles to life-threatening infections. If you are concerned about the safety of your water, you should get advice from a water treatment expert.
2. Is It Possible to prevent yellow water?
The major cause of yellow water is uncontrollable natural factors.
However, some of these factors like rusty plumbing fixtures can be controlled. Regularly checking the condition of pipes and fixtures can help prevent yellow water.
3. How Long Does it Take for Yellow Water to Go Away?
The length of time it takes for yellow water to disappear is determined by the cause of the problem. If high levels of minerals cause the yellow water, it will go away in a few days.
But, if the condition is caused by iron bacteria, it could take several weeks or more to clear.
Even when the yellow color has disappeared, you will most likely need to continue using a water treatment system. This guarantees that your water is safe to drink and that the problem does not return.
4. Why is My Water Yellow in the Morning?
If your water is yellow in the morning, this is probably because of high mineral content. . This is more common in areas with hard water.
Minerals can accumulate in the water overnight, causing it to become yellow when you turn it on in the morning. A water softener can be used to solve this problem. This will remove minerals from the water and prevent it from building up overnight.
Running the water for a few minutes each morning helps remove minerals and improve the color of the water.
5. Is it safe to shower if the water is yellowish?
Though bathing or showering in yellow water is usually safe, it’s always a good idea to double-check with your local plumber.
They may conduct tests on your water supply to identify the root of the problem and find the right solutions to get your water clean again. Bathing in the yellow well water is completely safe. Water that is slightly yellow is deemed safe to use.
Long-term exposure to high mineral content, on the other hand, may produce irritation or dry skin. The biggest disadvantage with this water is that it can discolor clothing and other objects.
It is important to be careful when using yellow water to avoid contact with surfaces that may stain.
Conclusion on Yellow Well Water
Though you didn’t expect your water to turn yellow, there is no need to panic. I hope this article helps you determine the cause of your yellow well water.
Most of the time, it is an easy fix, or it will go away on its own. Even if you end up needing to replace some plumbing or appliances, it’s still a great investment in your homestead property that you will be grateful for in the long run.
A change in the color of your well water does not necessarily indicate that it is not safe. It is important to check if there are any changes in the water, whether it is taste, color, or smell. Then take the right action.
You can send a sample of your water to a certified laboratory or buy test equipment to check for impurities and save yourself and your family from undesirable health-related problems.