Intermittent Discolored Water

Discolored water within the PWSD system poses no health risk to people or animals. Although discolored water is completely safe, we understand that it is an inconvenience and looks alarming.

Watch our two minute overview video on discolored water.


Why does discolored water occur?

A portion of our drinking water is made up of well water that is located hundreds, and in some cases thousands of feet below the surface of the ground. Well water can sometimes appear discolored (red or brown) because of naturally occurring minerals, such as iron and manganese. These minerals are a part of the rock sandstone formation that has existed in Colorado for millions of years.

Who do I call when I have discolored water?

If you experience discolored, call 303-841-4627. We want to hear from you because it helps inform our maintenance program to reduce future instances of discolored water.

Minimize the impact of discolored water: click here to learn what steps to take.

Avoid washing laundry because the minerals in the discolored water may stain clothing. If staining does occur, please avoid drying the clothing. Call 303-841-4627 between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:00 pm and Parker Water and Sanitation District will provide you with Iron Out, an iron stain removal powder.



What is PWSD doing to address discolored water?

Our solution is two-pronged: we are mitigating the short-term impacts while developing a proactive long-term solution. Our current efforts include evaluation of our operations, seasonal maintenance activities, and continuing to implement proactive communications measures.

Our long-term solution involves taking the information we learned from the studies we conducted to add filters at well sites as part of a fiscally responsible approach.

What is PWSD doing when it opens up hydrants?

Flushing is a routine maintenance activity that involves opening fire hydrants to release water. Water utilities conduct flushing to eliminate the minerals that settle in the pipes. These are the minerals that cause discolored water. Discolored water (or red water) primarily occurs when there are changes in seasonal water demands, such as in the spring and fall. 

Households may experience discolored water during times of hydrant flushing and District water line maintenance. After the flushing or maintenance is completed in your area, run cold water to clear any discolored water in your service lines. Put this water to good use by watering plants or grass through a garden hose.


How will I know when PWSD is flushing?

2021 Seasonal Flushing will begin on May 6th. You can view a map of the sequence staff will follow through different neighborhoods within the District. We complete 1-2 sections each day, depending on area size.

We perform seasonal and incident-based system maintenance, which includes water main flushing to reduce the frequency of discolored water in our water mains. 

Listen for automated calls from us letting you know when crews will be working in your area.

Watch for social media posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially on NextDoor to stay informed as to when crews will be flushing in your neighborhood. 

Look for signs in your neighborhood notifying you of flushing operations.