Why Does My Water Look Milky?


Milky water, also known as cloudy water or white water, can be caused by air and water blending together in your residential pipes or main supply. This is often due to a tear in the pipe, which pulls in additional air. When air and water combine while traveling through water pipes to residents along the supply and then flow through taps, pressure is released, and tiny air bubbles are formed. These air bubbles are what give water its milky appearance.

All main supplies include a small amount of air, but any additional air can enter the supply due to a break in the pipes. Under the pressure, the air dissolves within the water but when you turn on your tap and release the pressure, the air comes out. This is similar to what happens when you open a bottle of any carbonated drink.

Quick Facts:

  • Milky water may sound disconcerting but it is completely harmless and safe to drink or use.
  • Milky water should not last long and if it does not clear up within 24 hours, contact a certified plumber or your water supplier.

What Causes My Water to Look Milky?

The term milky water is used to describe many issues related to your drinking water. A building’s tap water is fed through plumbing brought in from a municipal water source. If a municipal pipeline that connects to your building is cracked due to weather or an accident, a rupture can occur, which can cause air to seep into your plumbing system.

Other common causes of milky water include:

  • A change in the water pressure
  • A disturbance in the water distribution pipes
  • Sediment from nearby drilling activities

Is Milky Water Safe to Drink or Use?

Although milky water may affect the taste, smell, and overall aesthetic of your water, it is safe to drink and use. However, it is important to note that milky water can cause a white residue to form on fixtures. This can be easily removed using vinegar or lemon juice.

What Should You Do?

As white, milky water typically does not last longer than 24 hours, the situation should clear up by itself. Until then, you can:

  • Flush the taps to help your water run clear.
  • Visit a neighboring residence to find out whether their water is also running milky. If this is the case, contact your water supplier to notify them of the issue.

To guarantee your drinking water is clear every time you turn on the tap, get a Quench bottleless water cooler with advanced filtration and sanitization technology. Our filtration systems filter out sediments and contaminants, ensuring your water is clean and safe to drink. Explore the benefits of Quench’s advanced filtration technology or get matched with a water filtration system that’s right for your workplace.