Why is the water discolored at times?
Groundwater by its nature will contain dissolved minerals, including naturally occurring iron and manganese. These minerals settle out of the water as it ages and accumulate as sediment in the water mains. Water utility staff members regularly flush the mains through fire hydrants to remove this accumulated sediment, and that action or any other disturbance such as fire suppression, a main break, contractor work, or a flow test can stir up sediment that results in discolored water that can enter your service line if you use water during or immediately following the disturbance. If your water becomes discolored, run a cold-water tap in the basement or at the lowest level at full force for about ten minutes or so until the water clears. Usually it clears in just a few minutes. If it doesn’t, please call MP&W at
Is discolored water a health risk?
Discolored water is an occasional occurrence in a normally operating ground-water system and does not pose a health risk. However, it can be surprising and an inconvenience to unaware customers. Temporarily discolored water is safe, and is primarily an aesthetic issue. Your water may have a different taste or lightly colored clothes may become slightly stained if laundered during system disruptions. These events should be short lived. However, if the discoloration persists, it may be a symptom of a problem with your house’s water system. Galvanized iron pipes installed in homes in the 1960s and earlier can act as magnets for oxidized iron to form on the inside of the pipes. This can result in lower system pressures and release of iron sediment during routine activities such as dishwasher and washing machine use.
How will flushing affect water service?
When flushing crews are working close to your residence or business, you may experience periods of very low pressure or even complete stoppage of service. We attempt to notify customers in advance of flushing by billing notice, the Utility website, and by placing “flushing in this area” signs at major thoroughfares during the operation.
Flushing operations may also lead to discolored water, which can be drawn into homes and businesses if the water is being used during or immediately following the flushing. Flushing is also performed to ensure every fire hydrant on the system is fully functional in the event of an emergency.We ask for your patience and understanding during this critical main cleaning process.
The EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have adopted rules that require public water suppliers to test their water supply on a regular basis for the presence of synthetic and organic compounds [DNR: Chapter 567-41.4(5) and 41.4(7)(|AC)]. MP&W water quality test results are available online.
Muscatine’s average water hardness is around 265 parts per million or 15.5 grains per gallon.