Why Is My Water Cloudy?

Water in the Tucson Water distribution system is under pressure, causing any air present to be dissolved in the water until the pressure is released at the tap. These tiny air bubbles are harmless and not a health concern. If the amount of dissolved air is low, your water may appear to sparkle or have small bubbles.

If there is a greater amount of dissolved air in your water, millions of very tiny bubbles will appear when the pressure is released, giving the water a cloudy or white, milky appearance. It may take several minutes for the air to escape. As it does, the water will clear from the bottom of the glass, upward.

Dissolved air is present in approximately 90% of Tucson Water's 180 groundwater production wells. Air may also enter the distribution system during the pumping process.

Cloudy Water at a Single Tap
Allow water to run for a few moments, then fill a clean, clear glass or jar. Evaluate the appearance of the water. The water should clear from the bottom of the glass upwards. Then perform the same test at other sinks. If the water at the other sinks is clear, the original tap is most likely the air source. Faucet manufacturers add aerators to aerate the water coming from the tap. To remedy the problem, begin by removing the aerator (the small, screen-like device at the end of the faucet). Sediment may have accumulated in it. Clean it thoroughly and reinstall. If the water still appears cloudy, replace the aerator. If this does not remedy the situation, it may be necessary to replace internal faucet parts, replace the entire faucet assembly, or remove the aerator.

Cloudy Hot Water
Hot water will sometimes be cloudy due to the physics of heating and moving the water through a pressurized system. As water is heated, the gases dissolved in the water will escape. (That's why most water heaters have a pressure release safety device.) As the hot water is released at the tap, the gases immediately begin to separate from it. The cloudy water will clear quickly.

In Summary
Dissolved air in the water will not harm you or damage your plumbing or appliances. Tucson Water is committed to delivering high quality water to you, in a cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally-sensitive manner. More information is also available in our "Got Milk(y Water)?" brochure.