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Tyler residents notice brown, smelly water

The winter storm has caused some stubborn damage to area water systems.

TYLER, Texas — Although tap water in the city of Tyler has been declared safe to drink, many residents have noticed dirty-looking, smelly and even dirty tasting water.

Credit: Angela Fontenot

If you haven’t been able to get through to the city officials, here's how to take matters into your own hands.

Solution one: Cloudy Water

Cloudy water most likely means that there are air bubbles in your line.

LouAnn Campbell with Tyler Water Utilities said, “If [the cloudy water] is coming from your hot water line you should probably drain your water heater. If you have a conventional tank system, we suggest draining that to see if that clears the problem. And if it's from your cold water line, we suggest that you run your water.”

A common mistake people make is only turning on one faucet. It’s crucial to turn on every faucet you can and let it run for about 15 minutes.

Credit: Payton Weidman

Solution two: Brown Water

This likely means that there’s some sediment in your pipes.

Campbell said, “There might be some maintenance on the line going on in your neighborhood. There might also be a water main break that is being worked and the hole in the pipe could have just taken in some mud or something from that area where the pipe is buried.”

You could try draining your pipes, but you’ll likely have to just wait for the line to be fixed before you notice a difference.

Solution three: Smelly/Off-tasting water

“The taste some people experience with water is a natural taste actually it's called Geosmin,” Campbell said.

Geosmin is a naturally occurring chemical in many water systems. It's responsible for that earthy taste and unpleasant smell, but Campbell assures you that it’s not toxic.

“That's normal in a lot of water systems," she said. "You can try to flush your lines. You can also use a filter that can help or you can use maybe a little bit of lemon or lime to squeeze in your water.”

When all else fails, give the Tyler Water Business office a call at 903-531-1230. If you can’t get through there, you can submit a form with your concerns on their website here.

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