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Old 12-29-2011, 01:51 PM
270 posts, read 663,950 times
Reputation: 80


So, I've had light brown water come out of the bath tub faucet in previous apartments, but usually the brown water leaves the longer I leave the water running. In my new apartment though, it seems like the brownish-tan water is more present throughout the bath.

So, the super just came by to see what I was talking about, and of course, when he was here, the water wasn't at its brownest. He said something about lime building up. Is there anyway that I can find out whether taking baths in this is detrimental to my health? If this problem doesn't get remedied soon then what can I do about it (especially since the super already has his mind made up that it will resolve on its own). Please let me know. Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:44 PM
292 posts, read 534,229 times
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Not sure what there is you can do about it. I have complained about brown water before and the super told me it is because the pipes in the building are old. In my apt, the hot water does clear up the longer it runs.

I did find this through a simple Google search:

Color, Taste, and Odor: What You Should Know | Water, Wastewater & Wetlands | MassDEP

Brown, Red, Orange or Yellow Water

Brown, red, orange, or yellow water is usually caused by rust. The different colors can be attributed to varying chemical oxidation states of the iron (rust) and by varying concentrations of the rust in the water. There are two major sources that can cause water to be rusty:

The water mains, or
The water pipes in your building.
Rusty water occurs from sediment in the pipes or rust from the inside walls of the water mains.The rust can be disturbed and temporarily suspended in water with unusual water flows from water main breaks or maintenance or by flushing of a hydrant. This discolored water is not a health threat. When the water is discolored it is recommended to either not wash laundry or to use a rust stain remover or regular detergent but not chlorine bleach as it will react with the iron to form a permanent stain.

The other major cause of brown, red, orange or yellow water is rusty water pipes in your building. If old, rusty pipes are discoloring your water, consult a licensed of plumbing materials or an experienced plumber. Water that is being discolored by rusty pipes is not a health hazard; however, it is an indication that the pipes are corroding and they can eventually leak.

The first step in solving a brown or yellow water problem is to distinguish if the problem is located in your building or if it is in your city or town water supply. The following are some common characteristics of a water main disturbance:

The water was clear earlier but suddenly became discolored.
Only the cold water is discolored.
The water is discolored at all of the water faucets in your home and does not clear or improve after the water has been run for several minutes.
Some common characteristics of a corrosion problem in your building include:

The water is discolored every morning or when first used after several hours of disuse.
The water clears after it has run for a few minutes.
The discoloration is only at one or several faucets, but not all of them.
The discoloration is only in the hot water.
Iron can also occur naturally in a well supplying a public water system. The presence of iron can be confirmed through analysis of the water.

Another possible cause of brown (or black) water is manganese, the presence of which can also be confirmed through analysis.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:10 PM
270 posts, read 663,950 times
Reputation: 80
Thank You for the reply. So...supposedly, I will not face any health risks from taking a shower in this water for the next 335 days.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:26 PM
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:48 AM
Location: Manhattan
16,771 posts, read 21,742,544 times
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Is it the same color in your kitchen? Ask if other tenants experience the same thing? Are you near the Second Avenue construction?
Are you drinking this water? If you fill a glass can you see the color?

Keep your mouth closed during showers.

Any time they work on the water lines that requiring turrning water on and off you will get a flush of sediment but it should only last minutes.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:15 PM
270 posts, read 663,950 times
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Doesn't seem to be in the other sinks and I am also certain that it is only the hot bath water.

All I really care about is that it is not "poopy water"
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:47 AM
Location: Manhattan
16,771 posts, read 21,742,544 times
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Unlesss the pluumbing in your building is in viotation of the most basic laws of plumbing, your water is not poopy.
Often it is a case of the heat transfer pipes in the hot water heater corroding...a clear signal of needed replacement.

Fill a glass with the hot water from your kitchen sink. If I am correct, it too should be murky if you look hard. (It is easier to see sediment in the bathtub becasue there is far more water to look through.)
Sometimes if you run a bunch through a coffee filter you can see the sediment.
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:36 PM
270 posts, read 663,950 times
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How much time/money/effort would it take for the super to get these heat transfer pipes fixed?
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:55 PM
242 posts, read 906,441 times
Reputation: 149
My bath water comes out brown too. And I think my sink water might have a slight tinge too. I drink it after a Brita filter gets it, and have been doing so for 790+ days with no adverse effects .
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Location: New York
880 posts, read 1,473,437 times
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It could have possibly been the pipes. Has your tenant done anything concerning the water pipes or anything? It has happened a few times to me but that's because they were undergoing some changes with the pipes.
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