Intermittent 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.
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.
The video below explains a bit more about why it occurs and how we're working to treat it.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do I do 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.
Follow these steps to minimize the impact of the discolored water in your home.
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 current efforts include use of sequestration chemicals to help isolate the minerals that cause discoloration in the water, seasonal flushing activities, and continuing to implement proactive communication measures to help alert our customers when issues arise.
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?
The 2022 Seasonal Flushing program has concluded for the year. 2023 flushing will begin in late May.
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.