I have a black looking sludge dripping from our bathroom faucets.

What can be done to stop this?

  • You most likely have a problem in the water tank or water softener area. You can flush both to clean up the mess. Dec 30 '14 at 22:03
  • 1
    Do you see it in other fixtures around the house, or in the toilet or shower in the same bathroom?
    – BMitch
    Dec 30 '14 at 22:50

Have the water lab tested for bacterial content at your water source and at the faucets where the sludge is dripping out. E. Coli means your water source is contaminated.

If you're running PEX, black bioslime in certain brands is a known issue.

Flush with Hydrogen Peroxide as Chlorine does absolutely nothing to the bioslime.

Also, high magnesium content can cause black staining, but not the goo.

Another thing to check for is bacteria contaminated sediment filters if you have them. If this has happened you will need to remove the filter elements and attempt to clear the systemic infection.

In the case of a biofilm contamination event, it's a multi step process to clear the biofilm. Completely empty the water system, blow out with air, allow to dry to break down the biofilm. Flush with Hydrogen Peroxide then Phosphoric acid. Flush with a detergent to wash the biofilm residue out. Flush with a Hypoclorite solution. Flush with clean water. Test for bacteria.


Never heard of black sludge. Perhaps your faucet is old and corroding and you are seeing the result of the corrosion.


Black sulfur is yet another potential cause, but probably not if it's isolated to those faucets (plus the stink would be a big clue, as it smells like rotten eggs.) I don't miss that house/well; If not used for a while it would spew black goo for the first 20 minutes when the water started up.

  • Reminds my of a trip my sister took to Wisconsin. Everything in contact with water usage had yellow crust on it from the water sulfur content. The underside of the washing machine door had splash crust that would fall off when you banged on it. Eggy odor water, mmm!!! Jun 29 '15 at 18:03

If the sludge is around the valve handles rather than coming from the tap, the valves may have old-fashioned packing that is due for replacement. (Packing provies a water seal at the handle opening.)

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