Discolored Water (Rusty/Yellow/Brown/Black)

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Discolored Water (Rusty/Yellow/Brown/Black)

I am experiencing rusty, yellow, brown or black water.

Where is the discolored water occurring?

  • Do you have a water softener in use? Yes - screen may have failed.
  • Is it in all cold water taps? Yes - proceed to next section.
  • Is it only in the hot water? Yes - likely an issue with your water heater.
  • Is it only in one faucet? Yes - likely an internal plumbing issue and you may need to contact a plumber.

How to alleviate the issue

  1. Open 3 cold water taps.
  2. Allow them to run at least 10 minutes. It may take longer to clear completely.
  3. If it does not clear up or if you have additional questions, call 311. Outside of business hours (nights, holidays or weekends), call 574.235.9464.

Were you doing laundry at the time when discolored water was discovered?

If you know that your water is discolored, do not do laundry until it has cleared. If you discovered the discolored water while doing laundry, do not dry if it appears to be stained. There are detergents made to remove rust stains from clothing.   

How can I learn more about discolored water?

Questions or comments can also be sent to waterquality@southbendin.gov.


311 Process Notes

Please create a service request in enQuesta for the water quality queue for all water quality calls.

If the resident has followed the flushing instructions and is still experiencing discolorations, please forward them to the water quality staff at 9670 until 3:30 pm.  Please forward to 9464 after 3:30.