Why is my water rusty or dark brown?

Naturally occurring iron deposits have been stirred up within the water main system, this is often a result of water main flushing, which occurs in April and October. Another way this can happen is when a fire hydrant is used, either in the event of a fire near your home or unauthorized hydrant use. Whenever water is moved rapidly through the water mains, the iron deposits that settle to the bottom of the pipe get stirred up. We have also noticed a trend during hot weather, when a large number of irrigation systems are running and creating high water demand, the iron in the system can be stirred up.

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1. Why is my water rusty or dark brown?
2. Is iron in drinking water harmful and is it safe to drink?
3. What can I do to clear the water?