Milky/Cloudy Water (#114)



From time to time homeowners may discover milky colored water in their lines.  This can occur in hot water as well as in cold water lines. It can happen with new or recently installed water heaters as well as with water heaters that have been installed and operating for long periods of time.

This condition can be caused by various factors:

  • Aerators at faucets introduce additional air to the water and when collected in a glass the agitated water appears milky or cloudy.
  • Additional air can be introduced to city water supplies at the pumping station when air is pumped into the water mains to increase pressure.
  • In private well water systems, artesian pressure can cause air entrapment.
  • When water utility companies switch from one deep well source to another, excessive air can develop in the system.
  • Underground temperature changes in water sources (particularly in spring and fall) cause air to expand.

In these examples, the oxygenation causing the discolored water is unpleasant to look at but clears up in a short time. If not, the water company should be consulted.