Why Did Your Treated Water Change Color?

A household water treatment system helps remove excess minerals from hard water, making it much better for cleaning and cooking. The treatment system often includes filters that remove contaminants that you wouldn't want to drink. If the water coming out of your taps has started changing color and is no longer the crystal clear water you've wanted, you can bet that something has happened to the water treatment system. Even if the water still seems soft, a change in color means something is getting through the treatment system. That's a sign that it's time to have the treatment systems inspected.

You're Seeing Less Filtration and Treatment

As mentioned, a change in color indicates that the filtration part of the system is breaking down. You may see rust or residues from chemicals like chlorine used in city water systems.

While it's possible for there to be a temporary surge of material that overwhelms even working treatment systems — this can happen when a city flushes out hydrants and water pipes in a neighborhood, leading to a significant amount of rust loosening up and flowing through all of the pipes — if the problem persists, then you know the treatment system is the likely culprit.

Sediment Is Getting Into the Water and Through the System

It's also possible that sediment is flowing through the system and not getting stopped by the treatment system and its filters. Very fine particles of sediment can make the water change color slightly; you won't necessarily see chunks of sediment if what's getting through is very fine. However, if you let the water sit for a bit – fill a glass and then leave it for 5 to 10 minutes – you may see a layer of fine grit start to gather at the bottom of the glass. If this happens, your treatment system isn't fully removing minerals and you need to have the system inspected.

Softener Regeneration and Pipe Debris

Of course, if you just had your water treatment system recharged or regenerated, seeing a change in water color for the worse is highly frustrating – but it's not unheard of. The work done on the treatment system can jar nearby pipes, causing flakes of debris to loosen and flow through your faucets. This shouldn't last long. If it continues, have the treatment company come back and use a higher-quality resin.

Whether your system is just shaking old debris loose or signaling that the entire thing is about to fail, you should have a treatment system company take a look at what's going on. Contact a company that works on water treatment systems to learn more.