When Well Water Gets Weird: Answers to Common Concerns

What happens when your well water gets, well, weird? From foamy to cloudy to discolored, changes in your well water’s appearance certainly be a cause for concern among homeowners. Here’s a list of some of the most common well water oddities, and what you can do to fix them.

What’s Weird: Foamy Water. When your well water is suddenly coming out of the tap looking foamy, some sort of natural gaseous buildup is usually to blame, especially if your well is made from bedrock. Generally speaking, gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide are fairly normal, and won’t pose a health hazard, but the real hazard (which is rare!) starts if the gas in question is radon, if you live in a high-level area, or methane which indicates that a plant or animal has died in your well. 

The Fix: Pick up a water testing kit to find out what you’re dealing with. If you find radon levels, be sure to contact your local experts immediately. If a dead animal is the issue, remove it, empty your well, and then allow it to completely refill. Be sure to test your water again before you resume drinking it. If the gases aren’t hazardous, you don’t have to do anything—although the foam might not look good, you water is perfectly safe!

What’s Weird: Cloudy Water. Water that appears Cloudy, or white, is often caused by air or other gases, or sediment. While not necessarily dangerous, it could be an indication of larger issues at hand, including dangerous gases (see above), other contaminants or even surface water making its way into your well. 

The Fix: Again, start with a water testing kit to gauge what you’re dealing with. If it appears that there’s just air in your water, you’ll need to clear it out by turning off your main water valve, then turning on all of your faucets just a bit so the air can be released. Then, turn your main valve back on and allow your faucets to run for a few minutes. 

If sediment is your problem, install a sediment filter.

What’s Weird: Dirty Water. If the water coming out of your faucets is brown, orange, yellow or red, you probably have a rust issue, which is typically due to old, possibly corroding pipes made from iron or even steel. Over time, this water can stain your bathtub, toilet, and even your clothing.

The Fix: Once again, testing your water is key to rule out any potentially dangerous concerns, but the main way to reduce the iron in your well water is to install a water softener. 

What’s Weird: Smelly Water. You turn on the faucet and… your water smells like rotten eggs—gross! Once again, this disturbing effect can be traced back to a natural gas—hydrogen sulfide. In large quantities, this flammable gas can cause numerous health issues, but usually the amount in your water will be pretty low.

The Fix: The best course of action is to install a water filter to remove the hydrogen sulfide from your water as it enters your home’s system.

At Faulstick Plumbing, we specialize in installs, repairs, and inspections for all of your well, water, and plumbing needs. Our family-owned and operated business has built a reputation as the best-doing things the right way with the customer in mind, every time. Give us a call at 570-992-0447 to discuss your needs today!