Tap water can become cloudy and whitish as opposed to its usual clearness. Although it’s not necessarily unusual to have murky tap water, you might be wondering about its safety, why it looks like that and how you can stop it. Learn more about cloudy water and what you can do about it.

Is It Safe to Drink Cloudy Tap Water?

Cloudy tap water may still be safe to drink, but you should have proper testing done to be sure. Cloudiness occurs for multiple reasons, most of them harmless, often keeping the water safe to drink! However, running a few at-home tests should help determine whether your cloudy tap water is safe to drink.

One precaution to keep in mind is the color of your tap water. If it’s cloudy and brown, green or yellow, that is usually a sign of a contaminant, and you should avoid drinking it. 

Another thing to consider is that while cloudy tap water might be safe to drink, it can still damage your pipes. Buildup in your plumbing can damage your appliances and reduce the effectiveness of their operation.

Causes of Cloudy Tap Water

Cloudy tap water is often caused by harmless things, though it’s crucial to understand all the potential issues so you know what to look for. Common causes of cloudy tap water include:

Air Bubbles

Small air bubbles in your water can sometimes cause your sink water to be cloudy. When the cause is air bubbles, the cloudiness should go away when the bubbles rise and escape into the air. Air bubbles often result from a change in pressure in your pipes. 

One thing you could do to check if this is the problem is to draw a glass of water and watch to see if it clears from the bottom up. You could also ask if your neighbors are experiencing it. If yes, the water is probably safe to drink — but if not, you should contact professional for further investigation.

Investigate air bubbles regardless to ensure you don’t have leaky or bursting pipes within your home that can cause water damage. Also, remember that air bubbles are sometimes more likely to form in the winter because cold water can hold more air than warm water. If your cold water is only cloudy in the winter, air bubbles are likely the culprit. 

Sediment or Particulate Matter

Run all the taps in your house for several seconds, then fill a glass of water. Let the water sit for a while to see if the cloudiness fades. If it doesn’t after 24 hours, you likely have a more serious issue than air bubbles or hard water.

You may only notice cloudy water that persists from one faucet. This scenario may mean your cloudy water is a more isolated problem than an issue with the whole water supply. If you can run your water through a standard filter and it becomes clear, this could also signify too much particulate matter.

Common types of matter found in water include:

  • Sediment
  • Clay
  • Silt
  • Manganese
  • Iron
  • Algae

Regardless of what matter is in your water, it’s essential to contact a professional to get it examined to ensure you can safely drink it.

How to Fix Sink Water That’s Cloudy

Fixing cloudy tap water depends on the cause. For some cases, you don’t need to do much of anything unless the appearance bothers you. Others require more serious fixes. Solutions for cloudy tap water include:

  • Air bubbles: If the air bubbles are harmless, let the water sit until the bubbles leave. The water should then be clear. If you want to fix the pressure changes in your pipes, you can try to release the air from them by finding the cold water tap closest to the internal stop. Then, turn the internal stop tap off and on four to six times in a row. 
  • Sediment and particulate matter: If cloudiness persists, contact your water company to ask if they are doing maintenance nearby or if another issue has impacted you. Or, if the water is only persistently cloudy from one faucet, try removing and cleaning the aerator. To reduce the presence of these particles, you’ll need to install a filtration system.

More often than not, whether the cloudy tap water poses a health risk or you simply do not like its appearance, the solution will be to contact a professional and get water softeners or filtration systems set up at your home.

Fix Cloudy Water With Solutions From Culligan Water

If you’re getting cloudy water from your sink, contacting a professional for help is a good call. Whether the cloudiness is because of air bubbles or something more serious, our team is ready to help! Contact us now to learn more about what we can do to help get your water clear and enjoyable again!