5 Reasons Why You’re Finding Sediment in Your Water

Matt Marandola
Written by Matt Marandola
Updated October 28, 2021
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There’s nothing quite like a cold glass of water—until you experience the gritty, unpleasant taste of sediment. Finding sediment in your water supply typically points towards an issue with one of the water sources coming into your home. It could also be from damaged pipes. 

Here are five reasons why you’re finding sediment in the water—and who you can call to deal with the issue ASAP.

1. Your Water Softener Failed to Catch the Sediment

People will often install a water softener in part to catch the large particles that can appear in a city’s water system. If this system fails, you may start to notice small black or white particles coming through your faucets and toilets.

To ensure that the problem doesn’t arise again, contact a local water softener installation company to replace the existing one. You’ll likely need to filter the water in the meantime, and it’s probably best to only wash clothes if you need them.

2. Your Water Heater Is Damaged

Finding rust, minerals, or bacteria only in your hot water is typically a sign that your water heater is about to fail or is at least damaged. To determine if the culprit is your water heater, turn on your cold water for roughly 5 gallons worth of water. If the problem doesn’t persist, switch back to the hot water and see if the problem reappears.

If it does happen again, it’s best to replace the water heater outright. You can try to drain and flush the water heater to see if the problem continues, but it’s likely only going to be a temporary solution. Before buying a new water heater, hire a local water heater repair service to see if they can fix the problem.

3. Your Well or Spring Water Is Polluted

If you’re running off of well or spring water on your property, then you’ll want to ensure neither has suddenly become polluted or filled with sediment. Sediment in well or spring water can happen from erosion, natural disasters, or pollution seeping in. You’ll want to hire a local well pump repair service for this job, as it’s going to require quite a bit of digging to diagnose the problem.

4. Your Toilet’s Flapper Has Started to Disintegrate

You may only find sediment in the toilet. In this case, if you’ve eliminated all of the above possibilities, it could be your toilet causing the sediment. Over time, constant use of the flapper in your toilet can erode it and cause sediment to appear in the tank water as well as the toilet bowl.

Thankfully, this is an easy fix and simply means replacing the toilet flapper itself. This is a job you can tackle in about 10 minutes, so long as you have a pair of heavy-duty scissors on hand. If not, you can always call in a local plumber to tackle the job.

5. You Have Mold or Bacteria on the Faucet

Woman washing glass at stainless steel sink in kitchen
Maskot via Getty Images

If the particles in the water are more green than black, you might be dealing with bacteria or mold growth on the faucet itself. These microbes love moist areas to grow, and with the faucet being a direct water line, it’s not terribly uncommon to have this problem. In fact, one of the most common areas to find this type of sediment is on your shower head.

For best results, you’ll want to soak the faucet using a combination of white vinegar in a plastic baggie and tie it to the faucet overnight. If it’s a serious problem, you may need to bust out the bleach to tackle the job. First, make a solution with 1 tablespoon bleach and 1 gallon of water. Then, wipe down your faucet, and rinse it clean with cold water. 

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