Q:

What causes rust in well water?

A:

Rust in well water can come from iron or manganese deposits that mix with the air, also known as iron bacteria. The bacteria can grow into a slimy material that sticks to well pipes. This can cause the water to change color, have a strange taste or odor.

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Although it is unknown if iron bacteria can cause disease, it can create a good environment for other harmful bacteria to grow. When repairing pumps, well pipes and well equipment, they should be disinfected properly. A laboratory can test the water if there is any indication that the well water is contaminated.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What causes well water to suddenly turn brown?

    A:

    The most common cause of brown well water is iron contamination. A sudden change in water color means that the contaminant is newly introduced to the well, and it may be caused by industrial contamination, rusty plumbing fixtures or natural iron leaching from the ground.

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    What causes cloudy well water?

    A:

    There are numerous possible causes for cloudy well water, including surface water leaking into the well or a faulty well filter or pump. Cloudy drinking water also could be due to air bubbles trapped in the water, although the water should quickly clear up if this is the case.

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    What allows air to enter the lines of a well water system?

    A:

    Air finds its way into a water pump through many avenues, but the most common reason is improperly priming the system during installation. Another common source of vapor ending up in water lines is due to the presence of methane gas within the well itself. While not harmful at these levels, it can cause the water lines to sputter.

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    Why is your hot water yellow?

    A:

    Hot water turns yellow for a number of reasons, including sediment in the water heater tank or colony of iron bacteria. It isn't always a sign that the hot water heater needs to be replaced, but it's something that might require a plumber to fix.

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