Icon Water occasionally receives calls from customers that are experiencing black particulate matter (“black specks”) in their drinking water. The particles are very distinctive, they are usually small, similar in size to cracked pepper, stick and smear on surfaces and do not dissolve in water. The particles often occur sporadically, in very small amounts, however, in extreme cases they can be numerous.
Extensive investigations to date have provided adequate evidence to conclude that the source of the black particles is attributed to degrading internal plumbing and not an issue with the broader distribution network.
There are many possible sources including but not limited to; flexible hose connections, often with a stainless steel braided outer layer, such as flick-mixers to kitchen sinks and bathroom fittings such as toilets and basins. Deteriorating washers inside toilet cisterns, tap washers, gaskets, O-rings and internal hot water system components are also potential sources.
If you are experiencing ‘black specks’, as described above, in your drinking water, Icon Water recommends you initially contact a licensed plumber to investigate the matter. Due to the many potential sources, some that may not be readily accessible, it could be difficult to locate the source. It is recommended that you sequentially and systematically document which taps are affected, and whether it occurs when you are using hot or cold water, to assist the plumber in locating the origin of the particles.