Red, Brown, Rust, Green, & Other Colors - What Are They

Red or rust stains can be caused by an abundance of iron in the water. A brown color may indicate the presence of manganese. Green or blue-greenish stains or discoloration that appear which are not a form of mold or mildew may have several causes. Water conditions above or below the neutral pH (6.8 - 7.8) range can cause any copper or brass pipes or fittings to shed off a green or blue-greenish discoloration and when it streaks down a surface or drips it can cause a stain.

Green or blue-greenish stains or discoloration can be caused by Electrolysis. Electrolysis is very common and can be caused by two methods: 

First, where dissimilar metals are in contact with each other.

Secondly, where metal piping is not ground properly which can cause stains.

This is a common problem with homes that have been remodeled and homes with a mixture of pipe materials (ie: galvanized, copper, PEX, Wirsbo, CPVC) being used. These stains or discolorations are a symptom of a bigger problem. Water filtration or treatment is not the cure. Plumbing work will be needed to prevent the thinning of pipes, leaks in pipes and connections, and other damage.

How to Get Rid of Them >​​

Bedford Regional Water Authority
1723 Falling Creek Road • Bedford • VA 24523

Red, Brown, and Rust Stains