Discolored Westfield water not a concern

David Billips
David Billips, Director of Westfield Public Works (Photo courtesy: The Westfield News)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Some residents experienced discoloring of their water on Wednesday, but the department of public works said that it is not something to be concerned with.

The discoloration, which may have been a yellow or brown tinging of the water, occurred in some homes around West Silver Street due to pressure testing in the city’s water system by the department of public works. The water, though it may smell odd or taste strange, is not inherently harmful to humans and is usually remedied by letting your water source run for a few minutes.

“They were doing a pressure test and wanted to get pressure up to the college,” David Billips, public works director, said. “We did testing on hydrants near the school to check if we are getting the pressure we need.”

Billips said that the pressure was adequate and no more testing was expected. However, he said this is a relatively common occurrence and the discoloration is not something that residents should become concerned with when it happens.

“It’s just minerals inside the pipes, it’s not rust or bacteria,” he said.

The minerals are typically iron and manganese, which are two found in most water sources. Both minerals are also needed by the human body to function properly.

However, it is not recommended to drink copious amounts of the water, or to use it for cooking or other activities. The minerals in the water can stain clothing and can also discolor and alter tastes of some vegetables when used for cooking.

The remedy is typically to allow your faucet to run for several minutes and the problem should correct itself. However, if you are still seeing discoloration of water after several minutes, then you are encouraged to call the Westfield Department of Public Works at (413)572-6226, as well as check the city website for any notifications.