Why Is My Well Water a Cloudy Brown-Yellow Color After Heavy Rain?

Any change in your well water’s color (brown, brownish-yellow, or cloudy) or taste is cause for concern, but in this article we’re going to focus on what to do if you water gets discolored after a heavy rain.

WARNING: Don’t Drink the Water

This is not something that should be ignored, even if the discoloration goes away after a day or two. Discoloration is simply a warning sign of a bigger problem: contamination. Stop drinking the water immediately and get it tested while it’s discolored. You and your family’s health is extremely important, so you shouldn’t run the risk of your own water making you sick. You can’t taste many types of contamination, so regular preventative testing and maintenance is the best way to ensure your family’s health.

Rule out These Issues First

Discolored water after it rains can be caused by a few different issues, some more serious than others. There are a few issues you should rule out before contacting a professional like A&T Well and Pump:

1) Are both the hot and cold water discolored? If it’s just the hot water, there might be an issue with the hot water heater itself.

2) Is only one faucet running discolored water or is it every faucet? If it’s just one faucet, it could be rust from the plumbing and fixture itself.

3) Has the water recently been turned on after being turned off a while? If so, it could be caused by some rust and debris that would stop after a while of running the water.

What Causes the Discoloration

If you have eliminated those issues, you’re seeing discolored water coming out of every faucet after heavy rains. This is likely caused by surface water leaking into your well. This is dangerous because the run off from your own property and your neighbors could have pesticides, fertilizer, or animal waste — especially if you live by a farm.

Another potential source of dangerous bacterial contamination is you or your neighbors’ leaky septic system overwhelmed by the rain. Fecal coliform and E. Coli are two nasty bacterial infections that can cause severe illness, especially in children and the elderly.

How to Diagnose and Fix the Problem

A thorough water test will help identify the nature of the problem. It’s recommended to test your water at least once a year, so if you’re experiencing water discoloration it is an absolute must.

Well leaks of this nature are often caused by a bad seal on the well cap, well casing, or deteriorated grout. Older wells were often installed without grout surrounding the pipe, and even older wells are often shallow enough to experience these types of issues more often. It’s important to fix the root problem, and disinfect the well after you do. Regardless of what the water test and inspection reveal, you need to make sure that the water drains away from the well head to prevent similar future issues. This is why well heads installed in a pit are more prone to these types of issues, but an extension that raises the height of the well head can be installed.

Who Should Help Me Diagnose and Fix the Problem?

A company that specializes in well drilling, maintenance, and repairs like A&T Well and Pump should be contacted immediately. They will test the water, inspect the well, make any necessary repairs, and then disinfect the well before you resume using the water. If you live in the greater Raleigh NC area and are experiencing this issue, contact us today by calling 919-291-4063 or by filling out the appointment request form at the top of the page.