Why is my well water yellowish and cloudy?

why is my well water yellowish and how to fix it

Why is my water well water yellow? It is because my well water contains plenty of iron, rust, a small amount of oxygen, and other elements that often decolorize your well water. If well water includes one or two types of iron content, it may be ferrous or ferric. 

Ferric is a visible type of iron that can be oxidized and left as a residue in a filter. Ferrous is an iron soluble in water that can corrode or expose oxygen. Ferrous cannot be captured in a filter. 

Rust and other materials may enter your water supply during maintenance work on upstream utilities, which might be the cause of your yellow tap water. You may find Rust-tainted water in red, orange, and yellow colors. Water that has been exposed to oxygen from the outdoors gives it a yellowish appearance. This article  will provide necessary information on the following topics:

  • Why is my well water yellow?
  • How to fix yellow well water?
  • The Health Risks of Yellow Water

The Causes of Yellow Water

Is my water coming out yellow? What can the causes for it? There are many reasons the well water is yellow and smells. Let have a look at them.

What causes the discoloration of the well water?

Why does my water leave yellow stains? Stained and discolored water is due to the Decaying or rotting of organic matter and vegetation in the water, making it unsuitable for purposes. It gives the water system a green or yellow color. Tannin contamination is caused by a natural fermentation process when the aquifer feeds decaying soil and rotten vegetation. Tannins are the common cause of discolored water, but they’re not dangerous to health risks.

Oxidation of iron in well water

It is one of the possible causes of why is my well water yellow and cloudy. When rocks and soils get groundwater, nourishment surrounds the well with high iron concentrations. Drinking water iron doesn’t lead to health risks in a small amount. A higher proportion of iron in drinking water can cause fatal issues. Thus use the iron water filter for healthy and safe water.

What causes smelly or yellow well water?

Contaminants surrounding the well, like iron, copper, zinc, lead, manganese, etc., carry out in our water supply, which gives your well yellow color and decreases water quality.
Manganese gives a dark brown shade when it stains, but it might provide a more yellow color in your water. In addition, the presence of manganese also has a detrimental effect on health. Therefore you should use the cheapest ways to remove manganese from well water.

Drinking water iron may be musty in smell and have an unpleasant odor and taste. Iron turns your water brown, orange, or yellow color. Iron, when interacting with harmful bacteria, its sludge-like thickness, affects water. Drinking water iron as a secondary contaminant is not detrimental but can be unpleasant in taste and smell. You can use the cheapest ways to remove iron from well water.

Zinc Containing by well changes your tap watercolor and reduces the water quality. Lead is another highly toxic contaminant present in your well, colorless. Information can cause serious health effects, which can be fatal to the survival of living organisms.

Arsenic drinking water highly reduces the water quality and is very dangerous to drink. You can opt for arsenic removal countertop water filters. These are the best filters for removal; arsenic nut is also good at resolving other issues.

Rusting and clogged of Household Plumbing like faucets

The continuous flow of yellow well water caused the rusting of household plumbing, choked them, and turned the water filter black. Over usage of the home’s plumbing equipment, or if it is made up of expired materials like lead or galvanized steel, you’re more probably to have water running from the tap that is yellow and carries out thick particles along with water. The simple reason for the cause of yellow water can be the corroded faucets. Over time, the nozzles get corroded and clogged into it. The running water flow could dislodge the oxidized material, turning your water yellow.

It’s easy to determine why my water looks yellow, whether a pipe or nozzle turns your water yellow. Just open another in your home and check the water from that one. As a result, pour two glasses – one with affected well water turning yellow and one with clean water from another nozzle. Compare both glasses and observe the difference between yellow water and clean water.

Is yellow well water is Safe to Drink?

The best solution to Drink safe and pure is to treat your yellow color water with filtration. You can use a whole-house water filter system for pure and clean water. Contact the institute or team that supplies water to your area if you are health-conscious and know why my well water looks yellow. You can choose the best filters to remove water problems and impurities and treat well water turning yellow. Because high levels of contaminated water can lead to health risks and water problems, harmful bacteria can lead to water-borne diseases.

Is yellow well water safe to shower in?

Washing, bathing, and shower taking with yellow water don’t cause significant health issues. Long-term usage of Hard water or yellowish water can damage your skin color.

Excessive mineral content in water can make your hair fall, dry, and cause problems with the skin, including an itchy scalp and irritation. So, it’s crucial to determine why your well water is yellow to treat the water by removing excess minerals before bathing. Your yellow well water may contain sediment, rust, tannins, and harmful bacteria; these may damage or clog your equipment, like showerheads, nozzles, pipes, and faucets. The best way to check why my well water looks yellow is to wait until you have normal-colored clear water before usage.

Why is my well water yellow after rain?

There is yellow well water after heavy rain because it may include many impurities. Acidic rainfall can bring many chemical agents along with rain. Yellow well water after heavy rain is due to the addition of contaminants to the well water turning yellow like iron, lead, sulfates, oxides, nitrates, etc. we should use reverse osmosis systems for apartments, homes, and offices for the safe side. Yellow and orange well water, after rain, when it reaches water supplier systems, can be ingested by plants, lakes, and pond communities, affecting their growth. 

The Health Risks of Yellow Water 

  • Drinking iron, manganese, rust, and organic matter in your water, as well as rust, do not affect your health.
  • Although rust will not hurt you, no doubt iron and manganese-like minerals are required in minimum amounts for the proper functioning and maintenance of our body. But the best recommendation is to avoid drinking water iron to prevent unnecessary evil and for the safety of your health. 
  • Washing, bathing, or taking a shower in yellow water is safe, but long-term usage or exposure to high mineral content water may cause skin, hair, and scalp damage.
  • Excess exposure to the high amount of minerals in water causes hair fall and baldness. Removing the mineral content will correct the skin, scalp, and hair problems by using filters in your homes and offices. 
  • Lead drinking water can cause kidney problems and lead to brain damage
  • Excess mercury and arsenic drinking water can even cause death because they are highly toxic to health.
  • Yellow well water after heavy rain may contain various oxides, nitrates, and sulfates which are not safe to use.

How to fix yellow well water

Ways for the water treatment containing iron depend upon the type. You will need to test your water first. Why is my well water yellow and cloudy?

Treatment of  Ferrous Iron

The presence of ferrous iron well water turning yellow, as it is dissolved in water, requires a water treatment technique that uses the ionic exchange principle.

  • Water softener
  • air-aspirated filter (AIV) induces oxygen into the water, converting ferrous iron into ferric iron.

Treatment of  Ferric Iron

Ferric iron is not dissolved in water. Ferric iron can be captured using filters; filtration is the best solution. Filters that can use for the water treatment are:- 

Solution for water containing tannin 

What to do if well water is yellow due to tannin? You can follow the best ways to avoid yellow watercolor, which is a result of natural fermentation passing through peaty soil can improve by using water treatment like

  • Activated Carbon Filters
  • Chlorination
  • Anion exchange etc

Solution for manganese

Manganese can form a colloidal solution with iron, so here are some suggested solutions, such as

  • ion exchange
  • oxidizing filters
  • oxidation
  • filtration

Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration

According to my research and tested reviews, I will recommend the best thing ever. Suppose you want a small and prolonged but perfect system for your home. In that case, I’ll recommend Reverse osmosis tankless water filters that remove iron, magnesium, calcium, microorganisms, arsenic, manganese, amoeba, e-choli, and many other organisms. 

If you have a large number of sediments in your well water, whole-house water filters for trapping large sediments are good t

Filtration can be the solution to cope with this situation to remove these impurities from your water supply to improve water quality. The water flowing from your taps should clear and be standard in taste with filter use.  Water filters for homes are the best to provide safe and clean drinking water and protect your home’s types of equipment and appliances. It will filter the impurities from the well water turning yellow color. 

Video Source: US Water Systems


Some others questions’ answers for our readers that might be helpful for reading.

Why is my well water leaving a yellow stain?

  • Tannins leave a yellow color in my well water. They also cause earthy or musky odors.
  • Another reason for the yellow tint may be iron in your well water.
  • Prevention: Whole Water House Filtration Systems are a great solution for filtering out tannins and removing iron, H2S (rotten egg odor), and many dangerous toxins in your water, such as herbicides and pesticides, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Is yellow water safe for bathing?

  • Taking a bath or shower in yellow water is typically safe; no adverse or harmful effect is seen.
  • It’s a good idea to check That your faucet or tap contains yellow or clean water.
  • Why is my well water always yellowish?

    Signs of having yellowish water

  • Iron (ferrous or ferric) or a High Mineral Content could be in your water and turns red, yellow, or orange right from the tap.
  • Tannins can also be present.
  • Why is my cold water yellow and hot water clear?

    My cold water is yellow because it can have a lot of contaminants like iron, manganese, and black sediments, and this water has a more inclusive property to hold dissolved gases. The hot water releases high pressure, and the air is discharged as miniature bubbles in your water. The lighter air bubbles float onto the water, leaving them neat and clean.


    In conclusion, first, we should know what causes discolored well water. If you have an issue with sediment, iron, manganese, or other impurities in your well water supply, filtration is the solution. Try to use the best sediment water filter for microorganism-free and clean water.

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