Black or Dark Brown

This color is caused by manganese in the water or pipe sediment. In addition to staining laundry and fixtures, you may notice rust particles or black specks suspended in clear water. Manganese is not harmful to human health and usually occurs simultaneously with dissolved iron. If the color doesn’t clear up after a few minutes of flushing all of your cold water faucets and toilets, wait about an hour and try again. If it still isn’t clear, contact your water utility. If you have your own well, you may need a licensed plumber to evaluate and correct the problem. The well system may need to be shock chlorinated. If the problem reoccurs, low levels of manganese can be removed with an ion exchange water softener. Higher levels of manganese may require removal via methods such as an oxidizing filter, continuous chlorination or ozonation, or aeration followed by sand filtration.