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Brown or orange coloured water

Brown or orange coloured water, or finding brown or orange bits in your water, can be caused by a few things.

Usually it’s because of iron and manganese deposits. These are naturally-occurring minerals which settle in the water mains over time.

This is nothing to worry about. It’s just sediment that normally settles to the bottom of the water pipes and doesn’t get into your home.

When it does come through your tap, it’s often as a result of a burst pipe in the area. The burst will cause a rush of water, or a change of direction in the water, which mixes up the settled sediment in the pipes. The sediment isn't harmful but can taste bitter. 

It can also be caused by:

  • water being diverted to another part of the network, causing a change in flow direction
  • a change in the speed of the flow
  • an increase in demand, such as the fire service using a hydrant nearby

This will normally clear if you run your cold tap for a few minutes.

Make sure you run the tap very gently. The water coming out of the tap shouldn't be wider than a pencil. If the flow is more powerful it could actually make the problem worse by stirring up more sediment.

If you're on a water meter, we can credit your bill with an amount to compensate you for the water you've used to flush the system.

If you use a water filter and find orange bits in your water jug, it’s likely to be part of the materials used in the filter itself. It’s best to replace your filter and re-fill your jug if this happens.



Select from the glasses below and find out more about why your water may be discoloured and what you can do: