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Cloudy Water Explained

Archived News Release: December 1, 2023 - ​​Cold water can hold more air than warm water, so when the pipes are cold and the water is put into a glass in your warm house, the water can no longer hold as much air. Therefore, you see the air transitioning from dissolved (in between the water molecules) to gas phase (air bubbles). Also, the water will be under pressure in your pipes, so it can hold more air. When you pour a glass of water the pressure in your room is lower. Similar to when you open a warm can of pop, the air escapes. Notice your water clears up from the bottom first as the bubbles escape out the top.

Dissolved gas in water is not a health hazard (the gases are largely oxygen and nitrogen), so if you see this you do not need to worry.  If you see white particles instead that settle to the bottom, then you may be observing calcium carbonate mineral deposits which can be cleaned out of aerators with vinegar.

As always, please email us at [email protected] or call us at the water treatment plant if you have any questions about your water quality!

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.