Discolored Water/Flushing Guide

Is it safe to drink?

It is not unusual to see discolored water after construction in your neighborhood, home repairs, or even water stagnation due to vacation. Discolored water is still safe to drink, though we understand it is not aesthetically pleasing. You should not use discolored water for laundry.Discolored water and trapped air are common occurrences after a water main break or other water system maintenance work. Discolored water is caused by sediment and mineral deposits in the pipes that can be stirred up when the water is turned off and then back on following work on WSSC Water’s water system.

Flushing the COLD water pipes in your home or business usually clears up the discolored water and will allow trapped air to be released.

After a Water Main Repair:

After water main repair work is completed in your area, flush the COLD water lines in your home or business using the following steps.

  • WSSC Water suggests running all COLD water taps for about five minutes or until the water runs clear.
  • Begin with the lowest faucet in your home or business and then open the other faucets one at a time, moving from your lowest floor to your highest. 
  • Once the water runs clear, usually in five minutes or less, turn off your faucets in the same order, lowest to highest.
  • You should also flush your refrigerator's water lines. 

If the discolored water persists after running your cold water lines for five minutes, please report it to the Emergency Call Center at 301-206-4002 or emergencycallcenter@wsscwater.com.

WSSC Water​ does not recommend using discolored water to do laundry. If clothing gets stained, immediately wash the clothes again using a rust remover product.  This type of product is available in most supermarkets.  For better results, do not let the clothes dry.

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