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How do I solve discolouration and odour in domestic water supply?

Our boat is only just 12 months old. It has had a problem with orange/brown deposits in the water for some time. The builder told us "it was not uncommon with waterside supplies" but it is now much worse. When the water is run - at any point on the boat - after not being used for a few days, it runs mid to dark brown and has a very unpleasant odour. This clears after a couple of minutes. We have drunk the water (filtered) with no ill effects. It was suggested it might be a degrading diaphragm in the accumulator. The whole unit was replaced, but the problem continues. Any suggestions or solutions?

Asked by: Richard Holland  | 8.06am, Tuesday 15 September

WW says:

Dark brown suggests iron oxide contamination, which does tend to settle in the base of the tank. If it is mainly in the cold water side on standing, this would be sensible.
Most waterside supplies are identical to domestic supplies (and technically have to be checked every now and then) so I doubt that the contamination comes mainly from them.
If your tank is integral with the shell, the iron oxide deposits are not uncommon. If you are able to inspect the inside of the tank, it might be worth it.
If you have a stainless or plastic tank, then their might be other issues, relating to the pipework, etc.

Mark Langley  | 9.51PM, Tuesday 15 September

Readers say:

Thank you for that prompt assistance. Does your suggestion also account for the foul smell?
I ought to have said that the tank had been visually checked. The water and interior were clean apart from a tiny amount of silt. The tank is integral - in the bow - and is finished inside with a light coloured paint or other similar surface treatment. Unless that suggests anything else, we'll have to have the pipework checked.

Richard Holland  | 8.01AM, Wednesday 16 September

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