Cloudy Water Condition

How Is It Caused?
Cloudy water, also commonly described as milky white, hazy, soapy, or foamy, is almost always caused by air in the water. One of the many properties of water is its ability to dissolve gases-including air. Sometimes the air comes back out of the water in the form of many tiny bubbles, this gives the water a milky white appearance.

To see if the white color in the water is due to air, fill a clear glass with water and set it on the counter. Observe the glass of water for 2 or 3 minutes. If the white color is due to air, the water will begin to clear at the bottom of the glass first and then gradually will clear all the way to the top. This is a natural phenomenon and is completely normal, the water is safe to use.

Another way for this milky white water to form is after Waterford Township DPW has worked on a water main or you have had work done on your plumbing. When the water is shut off air can get into the water main or your pipes. When the water pressure is restored, some of that air dissolves into the water. When you again relieve the pressure by the water thus giving it a milky white appearance for a few minutes. This phenomenon will usually last anywhere from several days to several weeks, depending on many factors.

When Does This Happen?
This situation can happen in the springtime when the weather begins to warm, anytime there is a significant heat wave, or whenever the water has been turned off for repairs. Cold-water holds more dissolved air than warm water. In the spring, the water supply in our reservoirs is cold and contains a relatively high level of dissolved air. As the water moves through the water mains in the street and the pipes in your house, it begins to warm up and lose some of its ability to keep the air dissolved. However, because the water is under pressure in the pipes, the air remains in the water. When you relieve the pressure by opening the faucet and filling your glass with water, the air is now free to escape from the water, giving it a milky appearance for a few minutes. This same set of circumstances is also why you will often see that your hot water is cloudy. Cloudy water can also occur in the winter when you turn on your house’s heater.

Additional Help

If your water is cloudy or milky white in appearance and it does not clear in a glass after 5 minutes, please call our office and our Water Quality Department will be happy to assist you.