Iron and manganese, harmless minerals that occur naturally in well water, can cause discoloration. A malfunctioning water softener may also cause discoloration. In the spring, routine hydrant flushing may stir up deposits within the pipes, resulting in rusty/discolored water. This can be cleared up by turning on all the cold water faucets (including bath and shower) at the same time and letting them run for a few minutes to clear the lines. Discolored water is perfectly safe for consumption and bathing. You should avoid doing laundry until the discoloration clears up. If you have a load that was washed during the discoloration, do not put it in the dryer. You should rewash the items as soon as possible after you have flushed your faucets.