The water may be colored a yellowish or red color due to several factors. Normally it is due to the presence of iron in the water, along with the fact that there are still iron pipes in our distribution system. The yellow color is due to dissolved iron in the water, while the reddish color is usually specks of iron in the water. We add a chemical to the water to sequester, or chemically bind the iron so it stays entirely dissolved. However, due to various factors (temperature, pH of the water, etc.) the iron can come out of the solution and discolor the water.
Recent flushing of fire hydrants, a sudden increase in water usage, and after a water main break can also contribute to discolored water. The water is safe to drink, cook and bathe with. While it is not aesthetically pleasing, it is still safe. The amount of iron in the water is normally much less than the amount of iron recommended in your daily diet.