Consumer Tips


Brown or Red Water

If your cold tap water appears brown or red it is probably mineral deposits (tuberculation) in your water caused by:

  • Water main break
  • Water or sewer workers flushing fire hydrants
  • Vibrations caused by construction
  • Children playing with fire hydrants

Cloudy Water

If your water appears cloudy in winter or early spring it is most likely trapped air. Cold water has a much greater capacity to hold gas than warm water, and if this tendency is combined with a faucet aerator, your water may appear cloudy due to air bubbles. If the water is allowed to sit for a short while, the bubbles will eventually rise to the surface and dissipate.

To report these problems, call the Water Division at (505) 863-1207. Once the reason has been identified and the disruption of the water main has ceased, run your cold water tap until it clears.

Taste & Odor

Chlorine Taste

After chlorination there remains a minute amount of chlorine in tap water known as residual chlorine. This residual is necessary to maintain a disinfected water supply. Many consumers dislike the inherent taste. The following are some ways to eliminate or improve this taste:

  • Expose water, in a clear uncapped bottle, to sunlight for one hour, and the smell of chlorine will be removed.
  • Cool water to less than 60°F in the summer. Cool water definitely tastes better. If the smell of chlorine is removed before cooling, the taste will be much better.
  • Leave water in a kettle overnight. The smell of chlorine will be removed.
  • Boil water for 5 minutes in a kettle with the lid off, cool to room temperature, then place in a refrigerator with the lid on, but not air tight, until cool.
  • A well-maintained point-of-use charcoal filter will eliminate the smell of chlorine.

Bitter Medicinal Taste

Another common cause of taste & odor in tap water are PVC supply lines. PVC can impart a bitter medicinal taste to water that is allowed to stagnate within a supply line. To eliminate this problem, run the water until the taste & odors has dissipated or change the supply line to a material other than PVC.

Sewage Smell

A non-functional drain trap can give the illusion of a sewage smell in tap water. This is due to the introduction of sewer gas from the drain whenever water is flowing through it. Repairing the drain trap will eliminate this problem.