Faucet Water Colors: What They Mean & What the Problems Are

The water that’s coming out of your household faucets should be colorless, right? The least you would want to see is your water in reddish or greenish hues. When this occurs, you have to get in touch with a plumbing service to look into the root cause of the problem and perform a quick, effective fix.

Do you know that the difference in color actually indicates where the exact problem is? Here’s a quick rundown of the colors that may come out of your household faucet and where these problem areas are:

1. Red water

The reddish water is usually caused by the rust in plumbing pipes that typically happens in older houses. As you can see, minerals can build up in pipes made of galvanized iron or steel. Over time, the protective layers of pipes get stripped off, exposing the iron or steel. The metal then begins to rust and gets exposed to water, which causes it to become yellowish-red or brown. When this occurs, it is a sign that your pipes need a replacement.

2. Green water

This water can be caused by two factors:

  • Algae buildup: The chances are that algae growth has infested your plumbing system. The algae can naturally grow and multiply, causing blockage to your system over time.
  • Copper pipes: Worn-out copper pipes tend to cause a greenish coloration in water. When copper evaporates into the water, a residue is left behind, causing stains on your sinks and tub.

When you are faced with greenish water, contact a plumbing service to remove the algae in your plumbing system or replace your stained copper pipes.

3. Yellow water

This colored water may have come from your water distribution center because your city may be undergoing repairs on the local water systems. Chances are that a nearby fire hydrant has malfunctioned, or your local water center is performing its annual flushing program. As a result, the water pressure gets rid of loose rust and fragments in the water lines that get exposed and turn it to yellow. When this happens, you will have to contact your local water distribution center to find out the cause and a possible timeline on when the problem will be solved.

4. Other colors

There are other colors that also indicate some plumbing problems:

  • Black water: This is a clear indication of mildew growth.
  • Blue water:  This implies that the blue disinfectant from your toilet tank is contaminating your water supply.
  • Pink or purple water: This is likely caused by potassium permanganate. This chemical is used to oxidize iron and manganese, and too much application will turn your water into pink and even purple.


As you can see, colored water is a hazard to the whole household. Polluted or dirty water can impact the health of the family when consumed. For this reason, never drink or bathe in water that appears to be colored or contaminated. The good thing is that the colored water indicates where or what the exact problem is. All you have to do is hire a plumbing service and let them do the job for you.

We focus on professionalism, integrity, and commitment to delivering plumbing services, repair, and maintenance. If you’re looking for plumbing services in San Diego, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!