why_doesSometimes, especially along the South Shore of Long Island, we receive telephone calls from customers saying that the water flowing from their tap is brown in color. Not very appealing, but not necessarily harmful either.

Why Does... Questions

Questions & Answers

Is this water safe to drink?

The Suffolk County Water Authority operates the largest, most technologically advanced groundwater testing laboratory in the United States. If our lab tests the water and concludes that the water has excessive levels of iron, we will notify you not to consume it until it becomes clear again. Iron is not normally considered harmful to health, but can cause off-taste, odor or staining problems.

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How long will it take before the condition clears itself?

Unfortunately, this is rather hard to predict, since each situation is different. Normally the water will clear in between four and eight hours.

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My laundry has become stained, now what?

Please call your Suffolk County Water Authority Call Center at (631) 698-9500 and request a package of "Yellow Out." This laundry additive will remove the iron stains from your laundry, if used properly as directed on the package.

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What are you doing to remove iron from my water?

SCWA utilizes iron removal systems in communities where excess iron is an issue. The results have been impressive and customer complaints have dropped dramatically. We have also installed water mains to carry water from areas where the water is free of iron to South Shore communities, where iron in groundwater is most prevalent.

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