Why Does My Water Look Milky?

Air Bubbles

Occasionally your water may look milky or cloudy. Milky looking water is usually the result of very tiny air bubbles in the water. These bubbles are so small (almost invisible to the naked eye) they look like someone poured milk in your water.

Where the Bubbles Come From

Our water has air dissolved in it all the time. Most of the time the air stays dissolved in the water and you can't see it. During the colder months the water temperature drops down into the forties (Fahrenheit). When water gets cold, it can hold more air (oxygen) in solution and becomes supersaturated.

If the cold supersaturated water comes into contact with any obstruction in the plumbing system (such as a valve that is not completely open), it causes turbulence which results in the air coming out of solution and forming tiny bubbles. You don't have the same problem in the summer time because the water does not contain as much air.

Additional Information

Unfortunately, we cannot control the temperature of the water and can not do anything to help with this issue. This problem can last until the water warms back up. The bubbles are not harmful in any way and the water is still safe to drink.

If you need more information on Norfolk's drinking water, please contact the Division of Water Quality at 757-441-5678 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m, Monday through Friday.