There are a few common causes and reasons your H2O might not appear to be as crystal clear as you might expect. It’s no fun when your faucet is producing unwanted particles, but rest assured, there are reasons behind it and even some solutions besides calling a plumber.

Disintegrating Rubber

If your H2O appears to be smudgy or oily, this could be a hint that a rubber hose somewhere in your home plumbing system is disintegrating. This is typically due to chlorine being added to water as a disinfectant. The flex hose that leads to your water heater is also a huge culprit and you will likely need to call a plumber in Mesa to professionally replace the hose.

Sand or Silt

Ever notice tiny black or brown colored pieces of sand or silt? These might show up in H2O that is sourced from a private well. The water isn’t harmful to your body, but it could end up wearing out your appliances such as the washing machine or dishwasher more quickly than normal. Additionally, the water could potentially damage your well pump. Some possible remedies for this would be to allow the water to run for a few days if the well is new, installing a screen, or installing a liner in a sandstone.

Mineral Traces

Black particles are often caused by iron or manganese in the water system. These particles are also harmless to digest, but they do give your water a less than clear appearance and can potentially stain your clean dishes, laundry, and plumbing fixtures. A limit of 0.3 milligrams per liter for iron is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency–depending on your local government.


Rust in your water will normally show up as brownish-orange in color and sometimes even black. These particles are going to stem from rusted steel or plumbing pipes and come in irregular shapes and sizes.

If your water is persistently bringing up rust particles while running cold water in particular, you’ll want to call the water authority as it could be coming from the municipal supply. On the other hand, if the issue is coming from your hot water in one or two faucets and eventually clears up after running a while, this might mean your steel pipes are rusting. In this case, you’d also want to have a plumber check on them before the issue causes more problems over time.

Granular Activated Carbon

Most water home filter systems use GAC in their cartridges to purify their water. These particles are going to be more obvious in appearance, similar to coffee grounds. Solving this issue could be as easy as replacing the filter cartridge.

If you’re noticing issues other than the above mentioned, reach out to a plumber to come out and investigate.