Should I drink this?
April 18, 2018 4:40 AM   Subscribe

Suspicious water that's been through a filtering system.

Last week, the water in my office's two kitchenettes and women's washroom ran brown for a few hours, no foul smell. The main kitchenette has a sink, dishwasher, and countertop water dispenser that's connected to the water line. People continued to drink water from the dispenser throughout the day, so presumably pulling the brown water through it. Water coming out of the dispenser ran clear. Dispenser filter has not been cleaned since. How should I feel about drinking this water now that it's running clear again?
posted by Rora to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Whenever our water runs brown (a few times a year), I call the utility company and I am always assured that the water is safe to drink. I can't bring myself to drink the brown stuff but have had no ill effects from drinking it as soon as it's no longer brown. I wouldn't have second thoughts about the dispenser water. (although, how often is the filter getting cleaned generally? I'd be more concerned about that.)
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 5:13 AM on April 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

the point of the filter is to remove that gunk, and it appears to still be doing so.

Does the filter have a green/yellow/red LED indicator on it to indicate when it should be changed ? Or a date written on it (For when it was put in or when it should be changed) ? Or is facilities/building owner regularly replacing/maintaining the filter ?
posted by k5.user at 6:15 AM on April 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Water Company person here. (not your water company person...Ha!) There is no EPA health regulation related to iron, so you should be safe drinking it.The brown water was almost certainly rusty water from an old cast iron water main that got disturbed somehow (valves operated near by, main break etc.) I've never found anything other than iron when testing brown/yellow water. Rusty water was pulled into your plumbing before it could be blown out of the water mains. It is running clear now because it is no longer coming in rusty from the system. Even if rust is in the filter, you should be fine.
posted by k8oglyph at 7:41 AM on April 18, 2018 [14 favorites]

(I see you are in Canada - the regulations appear to be the same as US EPA)
posted by k8oglyph at 7:44 AM on April 18, 2018

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