Common Water Concerns

Cloudy tap water

Cloudy tap water is not a health concern and is usually caused by dissolved air that is released as fine bubbles as the water warms. Water should clear when left to sit for a short time. Hot water that is cloudy can usually be cleared by lowering the setting on your hot water tank.

Discoloured water

Discoloured water from cold water taps comes from pressure changes that can remove harmless sediment in water pipes. If you notice discoloured water after water main flushing, swabbing or repairs. it is likely from iron and manganese which naturally occur in groundwater. During water main cleaning, these minerals may be stirred loose. There are no health risks associated with discoloured water but high iron content may stain laundry.

Run the water tap closest to your water meter slowly for several minutes. If water is cloudy, run the cold water tap at the highest point in your home slowly for a few minutes.

If you notice discoloured water when you turn on your hot water taps, you likely need to drain the sediment at the bottom of your hot water tank. Place a container under the faucet at the bottom of your hot water tank and drain it until it clears.

Report prolonged episodes of discoloured water and/or low water pressure to the City of Greater Sudbury by calling 311 and asking to speak to the distribution and collection supervisor.

Sulphur smell from taps

The smell of sulphur is usually caused by a build-up of debris in your sink or tub drains. Fill a glass with water and take it to another room. If it does not smell, you need to clean your bathroom drains and inspect your p-traps.

Mix 1 cup (250 ml) baking soda, 1 cup (250 ml) salt and ¼ cup (50 ml) cream of tartar or equal portions of baking soda and vinegar to pour down the drain. Let stand 15 minutes then follow with a very hot water.

Never mix baking soda and vinegar with a commercial drain cleaner because it can react and create dangerous fumes.

Chlorine smell from tap water

Chlorine is added to drinking water to kill any harmful germs. Chlorine levels in drinking water are kept well within the recommended limits and are closely monitored 24 hours a day.

Chlorine smell is often caused by the dissipation of the gas from the water, changes in water temperature, high demand for water, a change in concentration or operational issues. Keep a covered jug of water in the refrigerator to reduce the taste of chlorine as the chemical dissipates after time.

Pink film on bathroom fixtures and tiles

A pink ring on bathroom fixtures may be caused by airborne bacteria called Serratia marcescens. It is often found in damp conditions where it may find its nutrients such as soaps and shampoos containing phosphorus.  To remove, scrub surfaces, disinfect with a bleach solution then rinse.

White flakes or particles in water

Flakes can be a sign of scale caused by water hardness or faulty hot water tank. Clean your faucet aerators/screens and/or flush your hot water tank. In extreme circumstances, you may need to call a professional to inspect your hot water tank.