What Do Different Colours Of Water Indicate?

Rusty pipes or pipe corrosion is detrimental to your health

Notice your water taps are releasing water with an unusual colour? Do not fret because discoloured water often does not last for long period. They can also be eliminated by running your cold water tap for five to ten minutes. Before calling a 24 hour plumber, you should find how what different colours of water could mean and therefore pinpoint the underlying issue. However, it is important to know that dirty or contaminated water is often a plumbing warning signal.

If you are uncertain about the condition of your sewage drains or pipe corrosion, it is best to call 24 hour emergency plumbers at Emergency Drains as they can come to your house at any time and any day.


Why is your water an odd colour?

Rusty pipes or pipe corrosion is detrimental to your health and cause water discolouration
Rusty pipes or pipe corrosion is detrimental to your health and causes water discolouration

Discolouration of water can differ from a light yellow, to dark brown, to even black. When your tap water is an unusual colour, it is recommended that you do not run the hot water tap, use laundry machines, dishwashers, or any other household appliances which utilise hot water.

The main causes for discolouration include:

  • Accumulation of naturally-occurring metals and minerals in pipes
  • Pipe corrosion and the breakdown of pipes
  • Household plumbing issues


What do different colours of water indicate?

Dark or light brown

Dark brown water is usually caused by iron and manganese accumulation. These deposits normally settle in the pipes and will not affect your health. However, they may get disrupted and get mixed into the water, therefore leading to the discolouration. This disturbance often derives from a sudden change in direction or flow speed caused by a burst pipe. The burst will result in a rush of water, or an alteration in the direction of the water, thereby disturbing the sediments located in the pipes.

The good news is that dark brown water discolouration is usually temporary and short-lasting. They can be cleared by simply running a cold tap on a gentle flow for a couple of minutes. Ensure that the water coming is not wider than a pen. Otherwise, if the flow is too much, it can escalate the problem by disturbing the sediments even more.


Red, orange, or yellow

Yellow, red, and orange water indicates that there is rust in your water supply. Fortunately, water with low levels of rust contamination is not life-threatening. Another cause of the discolouration is when naturally occurring sediment in the supply are disrupted.

Running your tap for a few minutes should clear the pipes and resolve the issue. The same rules apply if you come across brown discoloured water; ensure sure you run the tap very gently. This is because a powerful flow can disrupt the sediment even more. If your water has not returned to normal, you should engage with a 24 hour plumber so that they can inspect your pipes and plumbing system for any issues.



Black water with or without an odour can be a sign of mould or sewage. It is recommended that you do not use this for anything. You should immediately contact a 24 hour plumber so that they can arrive at your door any time of the day and any day of the week. By engaging with a drain plumber as soon as possible, you can find the source of the issue and prevent it from causing further complications.


24 Hour Plumber Sydney

Reach out to a drain plumber or 24 hour plumber if you have any concerns, queries or are looking for a free consultation. You can also visit our website for more information about our services and about our company.

Every 24 hour plumber at Emergency Drains is here to help you. We offer a variety of services such as solving issues related to blocked drains, and sewage pipe relining. We also specialise in sewage drains inspections, CCTV drain inspection, blocked sewer pipe issues, and many other services.