Water Quality FAQs

If the water from your cold kitchen tap (or any other mains tap) suddenly becomes discoloured, this could be because some maintenance or repair work is being carried out on our network in your area.

Your water may also be discoloured if there has been a reversal of flow, for example, water redirected from a neighbouring area. There could also be a sudden increase or decrease in your flow, for example, if the Fire Service needs water to put out a fire, or a pipe has burst.

This change in flow could lead to some scouring effect within the mains which can increase both the colour and particles. This is normally only temporary and will disappear after a short interval. To clear, run your cold water tap for a short period of time. If problem persists contact our Customer Helpline on 0800 0778778.

White water often occurs as a result of a disturbance in the water network i.e. when air enters the network from a burst main. The air dissolves and forms tiny bubbles giving a milky appearance to the water. This does not pose any health risks. If you fill a glass of water, you should see the air clear from the bottom up as the bubbles rise to the surface.

Your water is still safe to drink and this issue will generally improve within 24 hours. If the problem persists, please contact our Customer Helpline on 0800 0778778 and we will investigate this further for you.

Chlorine has been used for over 100 years for disinfecting water supplies. The concentrations we use in our supplies are harmless to humans. Some customers are more sensitive to the taste of chlorine than others.

You may also be more aware of the taste and smell if:

  • A water mains near you has been replaced. This is because the new main does not 'absorb' chlorine in the way the old mains did
  • You live close to a service reservoir/tank where secondary chlorination is used to increase the residuals in order to keep the water safe
  • You live close to a treatment works

If you smell or taste chlorine in the water from your tap, you can run some water from your kitchen tap into a clean jug. Cover the jug with  clean cloth and leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours before you drink it.

Leaving the water to stand for some time helps the chlorine dissipate from it, thus reducing the residual level of the chlorine. Always use the water stored in the jug within 24 hours.

For more information see our Chlorine Explained Factsheet

Your water may sometimes appear to have a slight blue colour if it is viewed against a white background e.g. in a white bath. This may be because your water is from a high quality treatment works or is from a high quality spring or borehole with very little or no organic content (the same effect can be seen in glaciers, where these can appear blue and white). This is normal, and is typical of water free from natural colour.