If you live in or around Maidstone in Kent, chances are that you might see a change in the colour of your water, as South East Water is currently cleaning out the water mains in Shepway, which will have an impact on houses in the ME15 7 postcode area.

According to Kent News, work on the system began yesterday (March 29th), with water being flushed through the pipes to draw out sediment deposits like manganese and iron and remove harmless build-up. It’s possible that, as a result, the water coming out of the taps could be temporarily discoloured.

Michael Phillips, distribution manager with the water supplier, was quoted by the news source as saying: “Flushing our water mains from the start to finish of our network – from our service reservoirs, which store fully treated drinking water, to the point at which it supplies our customers – is a very effective way of cleaning the inside of our water mains. Once the water reaches its journey’s end, the flushed water containing these deposits is directed into the drains to be recycled.”

It’s important to note that both iron and manganese are not health concerns in relation to drinking water, although they can discolour it and also give it a somewhat bitter or metallic taste, making it unpleasant to drink. Iron can also result in brown and orange stains appearing in your skin and in the laundry. If you’re worried, you can use a water softener, which can be effective for removing both iron and manganese, although they’re usually used to remove calcium and magnesium hardness.

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