Frequent Questions

What causes the water in my bathtub to have a reddish-brown tint?

A reddish-brown tint to the water is usually associated with iron contamination. Small amounts of iron are often found in water when there is a large amount of iron present in the soil or when corrosive water picks up iron from pipes. When water containing colorless, dissolved iron is allowed to stand in a cooking container, sink, or bathtub, the iron combines with oxygen from the air to form reddish-brown particles, commonly called rust, and give the water a reddish-brown tint. Additional information regarding iron contamination in water is available
at www.nesc.wvu.edu/ndwc/pdf/OT/TB/TB9_iron.pdf.  In order to determine whether iron contamination is causing the discoloration of your water,
contact your water provider and inquire about the presence of iron in the drinking water. If you have a private household well, you may want to have your water tested for iron. You can contact your state certification officer to get a list of laboratories in your state that have been certified to test your water. A list of state certification officers is available at http://water.epa.gov/scitech/drinkingwater/labcert/statecertification.cfm.

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