Does your tap water appear discolored or rusty? Here’s what you can do


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — If your tap water appears discolored or rusty, there are some simple steps to determine if there is a problem.

El Paso Water’s Christina Montoya joined KTSM 9 News to explain what you can do about discolored water. She said that El Paso Water performs more than 370,000 tests a year to ensure our drinking supply is safe.

“However, sometimes, issues like a water main break, construction or even the fire department flushing hydrants can cause water to appear discolored,” Montoya said. “Another cause could be the fact that we are welcoming a new water source — river water — into our system, which sometimes stirs up sediments and minerals in the pipes”

She said that if your water is discolored, simply run the cold water at one faucet for about five minutes. That should clear up the issue. But, she mentioned that you should not run hot water, since running the hot water pulls from the water heater, which could make the problem worse.

“If the water fails to clear after five minutes, wait for a few hours and again try running it,” Montoya said. “If the water does not clear after running or if clothing is stained in the wash, please call El Paso Water at 915-594-5733.”

Minerals and sediments are usually the cause of discoloration, she said, but they are not a health risk. It is possible, though, that the discoloration is a symptom of another issue, which is why Montoya urges customers to contact El Paso Water if running cold water for five minutes doesn’t resolve the issue.

If you are concerned about water quality, you can find information on the company’s website.

“Go to and click on ‘Our Water,’ then ‘Water Quality.’ We have a list of frequently asked questions there for you to review or call us at 915-594-5733,” she said.

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