Why your water has gone brown, orange or yellow

PUBLISHED: 11:47 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 13 February 2020

Yellow water came out of taps previously in Kesgrave in December 2019. Picture: DAN DRAKE

Yellow water came out of taps previously in Kesgrave in December 2019. Picture: DAN DRAKE


People living in Ipswich have been warned their water might be turning yellow, orange or even brown today – but is it safe to drink?

Anglian Water - wet wipes

Picture: RACHEL EDGEAnglian Water - wet wipes Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Anglian Water has put out an alert for the Ipswich area as a disturbance of iron sediments in the water mains has caused water to turn a variety of colours.

This can sometimes happen when there has been work done on nearby water pipes, such as fixing a burst water main - the water can also turn black or red.

A spokesperson said: "We have had some calls regarding discoloured water in the Washbrook and Copdock areas of Ipswich.

"This is due to an increase in pressure in the pipes which has stirred up some iron sediment.

"These iron sediments aren't harmful, and we are currently flushing our network to remove them. We would like to reassure customers that their water is safe to drink."

If the water in your house is discoloured you can try going through this checklist:

- Does it look clearer if you run the tap for a while?

- Has the water been turned off recently?

- Has the water been at a lower pressure than usual?

You may also want to watch:

- Is it discoloured in all of the taps in your house?

- Is it discoloured in your house and your neighbour's?

According to Anglian Water, if the water is discoloured already it means that it is in the pipe and will then need to be flushed out of the system.

What can you do if your water is discoloured?

- Try running your tap for half an hour or more

- You can check in your area to see if there are issues in your neighbourhood - if everyone else's is fine and yours isn't then it might be your supply pipe

- Do not do your laundry as the water might stain your washing and if it does you need to keep it damp and give Anglian Water a call

- If the water has been looking funny for more than a day then you might need to have your mains flushed to get it out so you'll need to ring Anglian Water

- It could be your internal plumbing causing the problem if you have iron pipe work, plumbing or tanks which can then rust and cause the colour. You can check if your pipe is iron by sticking a fridge magnet on it, if it sticks then it's iron

- If your water looks, tastes or smells funny and it isn't yellow, brown or orange then you will need to let Anglian Water investigate

If you do end up flushing your taps, the company is advising you collect the water and use it for watering or around the house instead of wasting it.

For more information use the self diagnosis tool or call Anglian Water on 0345 791 9155.

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