Knowledge Base

Dirty or Discolored Tap Water

Category: Water Utility

Water from La Crosse's aquifer contains low levels of naturally occurring iron and manganese, which can accumulate as sediment in water mains.  The minerals aren't considered harmful, but their accumulation over time can cause water to have a slight brown or reddish tint.   We flush our water mains in the spring, and again sometimes in the early fall, to push out the sediment, but that action -- or any other disturbance such as fire hydrant use for fire suppression, a main break, contractor work on mains or services, or a fire hydrant flow test -- can temporarily stir up the sediment that causes discolored water. 

If your water becomes discolored, run a cold water tap, preferably a bath tub or utility sink in the basement or an outside faucet, at full force until the water clears.   Usually it clears in a few minutes. 

If it doesn't clear up, call the La Crosse Utilities Office at 608-789-7536.

Updated 6/7/2016 2:18 PM
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