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Cloudy Well Water Causes and Treatments

Updated on March 12, 2022

8 Possible Causes & Solutions for Cloudy Well Water

1. Air Bubbles in Water – USGS mentions that cloudy well water happens due to pressure difference. The water in the pipes is at high pressure as compared to the water in the glass. The air in the water rises in the glass or the pitcher containing it and then clears away. If cloudy water is forming just due to air bubbles, it is completely harmless and safe to drink. It happens more commonly in winters as compared to the summer season. Coldwater holds more air than warm water. The well water is comparatively cold inside the well during the summer season, but when it travels from the well to the tap, air bubbles are cleared during its passage from the well to the point of use.

Solution: The best solution to this problem is to let water sit in the glass or the container for a while and wait for the bubbles to clear up. You can even drink with the bubbles as it is just air and nothing dangerous.

2. Methane Gas – The presence of methane gas is also indicated by air bubbles or cloudiness in the water. The safe limit for methane is 28 mg/L in water. Above this limit, methane in water can get explosive. It is very rare for methane to be present in well water at such a high level.

Solution: Get your well water tested for all the contaminants present in it. The best way to get rid of methane in drinking water is to aerate it. You must vent the aerator in the open air so that the gas can escape.

Also Read: Gray Well Water [Causes & Solutions]

sediments in well water

3. Sediment – A high level of sediment can also make well water cloudy. Sediment is visible with naked eye and usually settles at the bottom after a few minutes. Higher levels of sediment in well water indicate structural problems with water well.

Solution: Get a sediment filter for well water to remove all the suspended particles. Most filtration systems have a built-in sediment filter. If you already have a filter installed, check the working of the sediment filter. You may need to replace the cartridge or install a more powerful sediment filter.

4. High Levels of Iron and Manganese – Iron and manganese can also make well water cloudy, brown, or orange. Iron enters well water when it moves underground, through damaged well casing or well screen, or old plumbing pipes.

Solution: Water filters remove iron from well water and make it fit for consumption and use.

Recommended Water Filter: SpringWell’s Whole House Well Water Filter System

SpringWell’s Whole House Well Water Filter System

You can install this filter to remove iron (7 PPM), manganese (1 PPM), and hydrogen sulfide (8 PPM) from the well water. The filter uses an air pocket to oxidize these contaminants, which are then trapped by the filtration media and backwashed.

The filter has a lifetime warranty, an easy installation kit, and a Bluetooth control head for easy usability.

5. Rainfall – Surface runoff after rainfall can make well water cloudy. The rainwater gathers and pools up near the well, and it starts to seep in the ground and slowly reaches the water table. If your well casing and well cap are not properly closed and sealed, the rainwater will enter your well and pumped into your plumbing system.

Solution: If the cloudy water problem happens after rainwater, and you also notice a change in smell and taste of water, it is time to inspect the casing and cap of your well. The best way is to call professionals and get the well checked out.

6. Rusty Plumbing – Rusted water pipes can make well water cloudy due to iron contaminations. Rusy water usually has a brown/orange but it can be cloudy at times.

Solution: You may need to replace the sections of the plumbing which are old and rusted.

7. Water Heater Problems – You may notice that only hot water is cloudy. It indicates water heater problems.

Solution: Get your water heater flushed and serviced. You may need to replace the anode rod in your water heater.

8. Bacteria – Some people have reported that bacterial contamination can also make well water cloudy. Cloudy well water issue was fixed when they treated well water for bacteria.

Solution: Chlorination is the best remedy for disinfecting your well water. Municipal water is regularly chlorinated to make it bacteria and virus free.

Final Word – What’s the best way to get rid of cloudy water?

Test your well water at home or from a certified testing facility. It will indicate the reason behind cloudy well water. You can now opt for the right treatment method based on what’s causing cloudy well water.


  • Earl Rojo

    Earl Rojo has been a senior mechanic in well drilling and maintenance firms for 3 years. He is from Longview, Texas, and he loves sharing his experience with others. He frequently writes on various well water issues with a special focus on well maintenance and drinking water quality.

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