Cloudy, grey or white coloured water
Your water can appear cloudy, white or grey when tiny air bubbles get trapped in the water.
They’re not harmful and should clear pretty quickly. If you fill a glass with water, you should see the water clear over a minute or so. The water will start clearing from the bottom of the glass.
As well as noticing changes in how your water looks, you may hear banging from the plumbing, or you may see the water is frothy, or splutters when the tap is opened.
There’s usually a simple explanation for air bubbles in your water.
The most likely cause is that air got trapped in the water during a burst or repairs on the network nearby. As the air dissolves in the water, smaller bubbles form.
You may sometimes hear banging in your plumbing too. The banging can be due to air trapped in your plumbing.
Occasionally frothy water may dislodge deposits that have collected on the inside of pipes, but this is nothing to worry about and should clear as the water is used.
Cloudy water is not harmful.
If your cloudy water is caused by trapped air bubbles, it will gradually clear. The clearing will begin at the bottom of the glass and travel upwards.
This should naturally clear itself in about 24 hours. You can help to clear air from your supply by running the cold tap closest to your internal stop tap at full flow. Slowly turn the stop tap on and off four to six times.
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’ve had cloudy water over a few weeks or months and your neighbours are not having this issue, it’s likely to be caused by something on your property rather than on the network.
Your water can sometimes look cloudy when it is heated by hot water pipes or a boiler, or if your stop tap is partly closed.
There are some simple steps you can take to prevent this happening:
- lag your pipes
- check your internal and external stop taps are fully open
- check the isolation valve is fully open (usually found under your kitchen sink)
If you still get cloudy water after taking these steps, contact a local approved plumber.
Select from the glasses below and find out more about why your water may be discoloured and what you can do: