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How to remove rust from drinking water?

Rust in tap water

Rust in drinking water can be caused by corroding, rusted pipes. To treat the rust, it is important to find the source of the issue. The rust can be coming from either the water mains or your residential water supply.

Waterlogic’s high performance carbon water filters absorb contaminants and remove impurities from your drinking water, keeping your drinking water clean and safe.


What to do if there is rust in your water supply? 

In summary, the best thing to do if you find rust in your water supply are:

  • Flush your taps as a temporary measure while you contact a certified plumber or your water supplier.
  • Contact your water supplier to carry out regular maintenance to help avoid rust forming and progressing.


Why is There Rust in My Water?

Rust, or iron oxide, is a coating that can form on iron or steel, then flake off in the presence of moisture. As water pipes are often made from these metals, rust can form anywhere in your water supply, and can cause pipe blockages and water discolouration — the result being you drinking rusty water with a noticeable metallic taste. Rusty tap water can appear in a yellow, orange, red or even a brown colour, depending on the levels of rust present.

What else can cause rust in water?

Other potential causes for rust in your water supply include:

  • Raging galvanised pipes.
  • Deteriorating residential pipes, which can rust from the inside out.
  • A build-up of sediments in your water heater, which is used to heat water above its initial temperature.


How to Get Rid of Rust in Water?

A certified plumber should be able to easily identify the source of your problem or alternatively, you can take the following steps to quickly and easily eliminate the rust in your water.

Identify if it is an issue with either your water mains or your residential plumbing, using the helpful graphic above.

  • Run an outside tap to fill a clean cup or bucket and look for any signs of rust.
  • If there are rust particles in the water or the water is discoloured, it is likely that the problem has originated from the water mains, which is beyond your residential plumbing.
  • If the water is clear, your residential plumbing may need to be flushed, treated, repaired or replaced.

If the rust appears when you run hot water taps or clears after a short period, it is advisable to contact a certified plumber or water expert to find out about water machines with filtration systems and request further investigation.

If the rust build up is affecting your water pressure you may need to replace your pipes. Consider copper or plastic pipes to avoid rust build up in the future.

A sudden influx of rusty water can indicate an issue with a pipe in the water mains, a disturbance has changed water flow, or a fire hydrant is in use. It is likely that you will be required to not use the water until the problem has been cleared. Should the problem persist after 24-hours, contact your water supplier.


Is Drinking Rusty Water Bad for You?

Whilst rusty water might taste odd, it will not make you ill. However, rusty water can stain and cause problems with washing machines and dishwashers, creating an unwelcome disturbance to your daily routine.


What else is in my water?

Learn how to treat other water contaminants with our educational resource ‘What’s in my tap water ’.