Occasionally, we receive calls reporting water that appears cloudy or milky. Cloudy water is almost always caused by the presence of either oxygen or calcium. Oxygen: Sometimes water fresh from the tap can appear cloudy. Within a minute or two, the cloudiness rises toward the top of a glass and before long the whole glass is crystal clear. This is caused by excess oxygen escaping from the water ( this is perfectly normal wi. Changes in water temperature and pressure can cause the oxygen dissolved in it to reach a “supersaturated” state, where there is more oxygen in the water than it can hold. When the water passes through a faucet, the disturbance is enough to knock the oxygen out of the water, forming microscopic bubbles. The bubbles are so tiny that it takes them a long time to rise up through the water. No harm will come from using oxygenated water and you need not take any corrective action if you experience it. Calcium: When calcium causes cloudiness, it is usually noticed in cold water. When a glassful of the cloudy water sits for about thirty minutes, a white or grayish substance settles out to the bottom of the glass. The substance is calcium, a product of our water treatment process. Such water is perfectly safe to drink or use for cooking, though it may be unappealing to look at. The chemistry of water is surprisingly complex, and many factors influence how it behaves. We engineer Bloomington’s water so that it is slightly prone to deposit a trace of calcium sediment as it travels through our distribution system. This helps to keep our water from becoming corrosive and reduces the likelihood that it might attack our water mains or leach lead or copper from our customers’ plumbing and fixtures. Usually, this calcium sediment remains at the bottom of the water mains, unnoticed by our water users. However, the calcium can be stirred up when a large volume of water is drawn through a water main in a short time, increasing the water’s velocity.
Events that can increase water velocity include firefighting, main breaks, hydrant maintenance, and water or street cleaning trucks filling their tanks at a hydrant. If you happen to turn on your cold water right after such an event, you may draw some of the stirred-up water into your pipes. To clean calcium sediment from your system, we recommend that you wait for an hour or two to allow the water in the main to settle; the less water you use, the faster the problem will clear. Then open a large-bore faucet (such as a tub faucet) and let the cold water run for about 20 minutes. This will draw clean water through your system and should remove any remaining calcium from your pipes. We welcome your calls if you have any concerns about cloudy water, or if your water remains cloudy after taking these steps.
Once in a while, you get a glass of water and it looks cloudy; maybe milky is a better term. After a few seconds, it miraculously clears up! The cloudiness might be caused by the water in the pipes being under a bit more pressure than the water in the glass, but is more likely due to tiny air bubbles in the water. Like any bubble, the air rises to the top of the water and goes into the air above, clearing up the water. Cloudy water, also known as white water, is caused by air bubbles in the water. It is completely harmless.
It usually happens when it is very cold outside because the solubility of air in water increases as water pressure increases and/or water temperature decreases. Coldwater holds more air than warm water. In the winter, water travels from the reservoir which is very cold and warms up during its travel to your tap. Some of the air that is present is no longer soluble and comes out of solution.
Also, water pressure has something to do with it. The water in the pipes is pressurized to a degree (which helps to get the water all the way from the water tower to your home). Water under pressure holds more air than water that is not pressurized. Once the water comes out of your tap, the water is no longer under pressure and the air comes out of solution as bubbles (similar to a carbonated soft drink). The best thing to do is let it sit in an open container until the bubbles naturally disappear.