Discolored water can often occur during prolonged periods of high temperatures and demands on the water distribution system. Similar to when hydrants are flushed, the water velocity – or the speed at which water moves through the system – increases during high demand. During typical demand, sediments that are naturally part of the water settle. But when water demand is high, the settling does not occur, and this results in discoloration that some residents may be experiencing. When the demand slows down, the sediment settles and only reappears when demand increases. The discoloration is an aesthetic issue, and there are no health risks associated with discolored water.
Andover conducts a comprehensive flushing program to reduce minerals and deposits in the pipes and improve the quality of the water. This practice not only extends the life of our water mains, but also improves water quality. When flushing is being performed, there may be temporary discoloration in the immediate neighborhoods where flushing is taking place.
What to do if you experience discolored water:
• Run cold water to help flush the system; running an outside spigot, basement sink, or bathtub can help clear the water lines surrounding your home
• Determine if the discoloration is isolated to cold or hot water
• Take note of the time and date that the discoloration was noticed
• If you have experienced discoloration while washing clothing, the Water Department supplies a product that will help remove any discoloration. This product can be picked up at 5 Campanelli Drive from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday.
• If discoloration is still evident, call the Water Division’s Discolored Water line at (978) 623-8707 or send an email to MSDiscoloredWater@andoverma.us. Include your name, address, and the day and time the discolored water occurred in your message.
Information on Discolored Water (PDF)