Six Common Causes of The Black Particles in Your Water

One of the many things that people find greatly important when it comes to their water is how clear it is. 

Having clear and fresh water is almost expected throughout the United States and many first world countries. We use it to cook and clean both ourselves and our homes, relying on access to clean water to do it well. More often than not, having clear water is a sign that our plumbing is working as it should be and that the pipes won’t break down anytime soon.

However, once in a while, you end up finding black particles in water, and you aren’t sure of what caused it. Is it okay to just ignore them or do you need to call a plumber or a technician to check the pipes? Is it even safe to continue using the water? While most of the time it may not be a big deal, it’s always a good idea to fix the problem as soon as you can.

There are a number of different reasons that can lead to why you’re finding black particles in water, some of which we’ve collected for you. If you’re interested in getting professional help for replacing or repairing your plumbing, call Clover Contracting.

Sand or silt got pulled in

On some occasions, finding black particles in water doesn’t always mean something incredibly dangerous. 

If your house has access to well water or you’ve connected it to a well source yourself, chances are that the black particles in tap water are just bits of dark sand or silt. If the silt isn’t as tightly packed or well mixed into a hard layer, the bits get pulled into the water supply to your home. 

Naturally, that water eventually gets to your taps or other faucets, potentially even being fine enough that it passes through any water filters your house may have.

Your water heater is corroding

If you’re only finding black particles in hot water, this becomes a sign that you should look into replacing your water heater, if not just checking its parts for any damage. A standard tank water heater can last anywhere between 8 to 16 years or slightly longer with proper care and maintenance. 

Typically, when the tank begins to reach the end of its lifespan, the inner parts begin to wear down and corrode. That results in the black particles in water.

There are mineral deposits in or around the water source

Another potential reason that you’re finding black particles in tap water is that there’s mineral in the water itself. These particles are often tiny amounts of iron or manganese that have found their way into the water and made it past the filtration systems you may have in your home. 

These can either be from the city’s water supply or from the well water. Regardless, these trace amounts of iron and manganese aren’t all that harmful to the human body.

In some cases, there might also be the chance that your water supply is particularly hard, and the black specks you find in your water are small bits of those minerals usually found in hard water. When it comes to hard water, it’s considered entirely safe to use. Though if there are too many minerals, it may be better to invest in a water softener.

Some of your plumbing is wearing down

If you’re finding black particles in the tap water, there’s a chance that it’s a sign that some of the parts in your plumbing are worn out. If you take a few bits and they feel rubbery to the touch, the parts that ensure that the water stays in the pipes are breaking up. 

These parts are often rubber washers, hoses and gaskets, all of which are more than likely going to break the more you use them over time. If you want to try and fix them yourself, check the ones closer to your end of the water supply. After you replace them, check the water for any more of the particles.

The pipes are getting old

The longer you live in your house, the more your pipes begin to rust or corrode due to the amount of water moving through them. If you’re finding black particles in tap water, there’s a chance that they’re tiny pieces of the pipes’ inner material. 

It’s highly recommended that you look into getting a plumber or technician to come to your house to check for and replace any old pipes that might be wearing down. You don’t want to risk flooding, after all.

Your water filter needs replacing

In some cases, a home may have a water filter to further ensure that wherever the water comes from, it stays as clean as it can be for the homeowner and their family to use. Naturally, there comes a time when your filter gets old and needs to be replaced with a fresh one. 

If you find black specks in the water and you’ve been using one water filter for quite some time, make sure you replace it quickly. But if the filter itself was just installed, you might need a technician to find out what the cause is.

Is it safe to drink the water?

Most of the time, it’s a much better idea to avoid drinking the water if you’re finding particles in it. While small amounts of iron or tiny bits of rust won’t immediately make you sick, drinking a lot of the water definitely can. If you find that the particles are sand or just tiny mineral deposits from your hard water supply, drinking it might be okay but make sure you filter it out beforehand.


Finding black particles in water can often be a concerning thing when you aren’t sure what’s causing it. Typically, the specks are a sign that you might need to invest in a replacement, either for your pipes or for a new water filter. While it may not be incredibly dangerous right away, calling a plumber or technician from Clover Contracting can make sure that your house is in peak performance.

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