Discolored water reported around Silver Spring and Takoma Park

Discolored water has been reported in the area. WSSC is investigating the issue. (Twitter/ogslovak)

We have received several reports on area listservs and Twitter that there is water discoloration:

WSSC stated on Twitter earlier this morning that they are investigating, and that the water is safe to drink:

From WSSC’s Frequently Asked Questions:

Is discolored water safe to drink?

Discolored water contains an accumulation of iron and manganese sediment from rusting cast iron pipes and/or from a buildup of chemical deposits on the pipes.  Water steadily flowing at an even pace in one direction will not disturb these deposits.  However, if the water suddenly flows very fast or reverses direction, sediment and deposits are stirred up, resulting in discoloration.  So, while the water may not be aesthetically pleasing, it is safe to drink.

Causes of Discolored Water:

  • Temporary increases in the water flow disturb the sediment.
  • Closed WSSC valves may disturb the water flow of nearby mains causing a temporary increase or reversal of flow stirring up the sediment.
  • Fully opening a fire hydrant for fire fighting purposes can cause a sudden increase in flow, which may temporarily cause discoloration.
  • New water mains might cause a change in established flow patterns and cause temporary discoloration.

Health Concerns:
Discolored water is generally safe to drink for healthy individuals. However, individuals with compromised immune systems (such as cancer patients undergoing treatment, HIV positive individuals, transplant recipients, seniors, and infants), should take any precautions they would normally take with regular tap water and/or seek advice from their physician before consuming discolored water.

WSSC does not recommend using discolored water to do laundry.
If clothing gets stained, immediately wash the clothes again using a rust remover product.  This type of product is available in most supermarkets or you can contact WSSC at 301-206-8100, 1-800-634-8400, or  [email protected] and request a stain remover.  For better results, do not let the clothes dry.

Household uses for Discolored Water:
Discolored water can be used for showering, flushing toilets, cleaning floors, and the like.

Particles in Water:
Visible particles are generally an accumulation of iron.

Is your water discolored? Let us know in the comments.

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