I’m seeing black stuff in my faucet aerators, shower or toilet…what can I do?
This black growth is a result of naturally occurring airborne mold and bacteria, which can enter your home via open windows, on pets, and even on coats and clothing. These environmental microbes require a moist environment to grow; they cannot survive in chlorinated drinking water, but when they come in contact with moisture on faucet aerators, showerheads, and in the toilet bowl, it provides a means for them to grow. Shower curtains and bathtubs with moisture left on their surfaces can also provide a place for them to flourish. Depending on the organisms, they can appear black, gray, or brown—and there are some that are even pink–and can be in the form of a film, or can be gelatinous.
Cleaning these fixtures and surfaces with a bleach-based cleaner will keep this growth under control, but may be required more often than your normal routine. Once clean, be sure to thoroughly rinse the showerhead and aerators with tap water to avoid accidental contact with the bleach solution. It is also important to thoroughly rinse all metal or chrome fixtures to avoid pitting, which can occur over time without sufficient rinsing of the bleach cleaner.
We hope this information is helpful; please call the Groton Utilities Water Laboratory if you have further questions at (860) 446-4135.