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Old 12-08-2012, 04:10 PM   #1
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Black sludge in faucet


Two cases of this. Both are in a rural area. First is with water from a well through a pressure tank, divided lines ... one to hot water tank and other is cold. Second situation is similar except wated is brought in from the city water supply and stored in a cistern. Both cases experience a black sludge-like material coming out of the faucets. Some appears to be small sand like particles but if the strainer is removed, the inside of the faucet has a build up of the stuff withe consistency of grease. What could cause this? Also what can clean the system?

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Old 12-08-2012, 07:47 PM   #2
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Black sludge in faucet


I think its time to get a professional to test your water supply,atleat have everything flushed out of the system with bleach to see if it helps

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Old 12-08-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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Black sludge in faucet


As suggested a water test is indicated.

But my guess would be manganese in the water which forms a black preciptate when exposed to an oxidzing agent--such as the oxygen in air.

If it is manganese you will also find it as a black slime in the drains.

A product like Iron Out will work in cleaning up manganese deposits.

Last edited by Bob999; 12-09-2012 at 11:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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Black sludge in faucet


What would I be looking for in a water test? Are there ways to control chemical balances? Other suggestions?
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Black sludge in faucet


You describe two completely different situations in the same post, one is a well, and one is city water. You then contradict yourself by first saying sand like, then saying grease like.

I think you really need to be more specific to get some good answers.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:49 PM   #6
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Black sludge in faucet


Both are similar issues in that there is sand like (size wise) particles that come through the system and faucet screening. The sludge (grease) stuff is inside the faucet once the screen is removed. Both the city water and the well show similar charactoristics.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
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Black sludge in faucet


It's common to have filter screens at both hot and cold water supply lines at the laundry unit. Look to see if there is any difference between what those two screens are filtering.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:57 PM   #8
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Black sludge in faucet


A neighbour mentioned that it could also be due to the hot water tank or rubber seal dissolving, ...possible??
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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Black sludge in faucet


It is my impression that a cistern is a non pressurized holding tank for water that works on gravity feed. I found this on wikipedia:

Some cisterns sit on the top of houses or on the ground higher than the house, and supply the running water needs for the house. They are often supplied not by rainwater harvesting, but by wells with electric pumps, or are filled by manual labor or by truck delivery. Very common throughout Brazil, for instance, they were traditionally made of concrete walls (much like the houses, themselves), with a similar concrete top (about 5 cm thick), with a piece that can come out for water filling and be re-inserted to keep out debris and insects. Modern cisterns are manufactured of plastic (in Brazil with a characteristic bright blue color, round, in capacities of about 10 000 and 50 000 liters). These cisterns differ from water tanks in the sense that they are not completely enclosed and sealed with one form, rather they have a lid made of the same material as the cistern, which is removable by the user.
To keep a clean water supply, the cisterns must be kept clean. It is recommended to inspect them regularly, keep them well-enclosed, and to occasionally empty them and clean them with an appropriate dilution of chlorine and to rinse them well. Well water must be inspected for contaminants coming from the ground source. City water has up to 1ppm (parts per million) chlorine added to the water to keep it clean, and in many areas can be ordered to be delivered directly to the cistern by truck (a typical price in Brazil is BRL$50, US$20 for 10 000 liters). If there is any question about the water supply at any point (source to tap), then the cistern water should not be used for drinking or cooking. If it is of acceptable quality and consistency, then it can be used for (1) toilets, and housecleaning; (2) showers and handwashing; (3) washing dishes, with appropriate sanitation methods, and for the highest quality, (4) cooking and drinking. Water of non-acceptable quaility for the before mentioned uses may still be used for irrigation. If it is free of particulates but not low enough in bacteria, then boiling may also be an effective means to prepare the water for drinking.


Since I have never owned a cistern or maintained one, I can only offer the above. If the water is not under pressure and sits in a large tank, I would think that black algae and other things could grow in the tank. I would recommend you confer with someone knowledgeable about these systems. Potable water is nothing to fool around with.

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