What Your Water Color Means

kitchen sink

Did you turn your kitchen sink or shower on recently only to find that your water isn’t completely clear? Seeing colored water is unsettling and can be caused by a variety of problems. However, several colors don’t pose health risks and don’t require immediate assistance while others should be dealt with immediately to avoid hazardous effects.

Meanings of Different Water Colors

Investigate your home’s plumbing if you notice any of the following strange watercolors coming from your sink’s faucet, flowing from your shower, or filling your toilet bowl.

Red, Brown, or Orange

Typically, orange- and red-colored water is caused by rust from your galvanized iron or steel plumbing oxidizing over time after its protective zinc layer has worn off. While rust in your water won’t negatively affect your health, it will make foods taste a bit strange and stain clothing if you attempt to do laundry. To solve this issue, you’ll need to replace your plumbing with newer pipes.


Instances of green water can be caused by two different things — copper plumbing or algae growth. Algae buildup is the least serious of the two possibilities and is a naturally occurring instance when there’s a blockage in your water filter or buildup in other areas of the system. An experienced plumber can assess your plumbing to find where the growth is happening and clear the system of the algae.

If the water flow in your home is green because of copper plumbing, you need to have a professional address it immediately, as large quantities of this tainted water can lead to gastrointestinal, kidney, and liver damage. Copper plumbing will turn your water green as the metal ages and wears — you can often detect this issue if you see green toilet water or stains in your sinks or tub after the water evaporates.


If your water is tinged yellow, it could be caused by a problem at your city’s water distribution center. The city is performing either repairs or an annual flushing program, where the city increases water pressure to clear the lines of rust and other debris that can get stuck. During these flushes, your water may turn yellow for a short period.

Blue, Pink, or Purple

These pretty hues can be caused by a few different things. Bluewater is likely from a leak in your toilet tank, letting blue disinfectant contaminate your water supply. Pink is most likely potassium permanganate, which is used to oxidize iron and manganese — if too much is used in your lines, the water will turn a shade of pink, and if way too much is being used, it will turn purple. Pink is not an immediate danger to your health, while purple should be addressed quickly.


If you notice a black coloring to your water supply, you likely have mold or mildew growth and should call a plumber to further investigate the cause.

Is Your Water Tainted? Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Oneida Today!

If you notice your home’s water supply has been tainted and now replicates part of the rainbow, call the professional at Mr. Rooter Plumbing to investigate. We’ll work quickly and efficiently to resolve your plumbing issue and provide reliable and affordable solutions. Learn more about our plumbing services today by calling us, or complete our online form to request services.