The night I moved into my three-story brownstone in Brooklyn there was a fire down the street. It was just a little one, and no one was hurt, but once the fire hydrants were on all my tap water was brown. So much rust! Many of the pipes in my neighborhood are over a century old, some of the oldest in America, I think. I had never encountered rusty water before, and I didn't notice the rust until I had already drunk half a glass of tap water. Then I looked down into the glass, and I let out a little shriek and dropped it and rusty water was all over the carpet. (OK, maybe I was a little prissy back then.) But once I called the water department, it only took a few hours to get rid of the rust. The two water technicians said I wasn't in any danger even though I drank some of the rust, and they also explained that when the fire hydrants were turned on the sudden force of the water caused the iron particles that had been collecting at the bottom of the pipes to mix in with the drinking water. Usually these iron particles just sit there undisturbed. Anyway, I've lived in New York for four years now and I never again had problems with rust in the water. Problems with my upstairs neighbors screaming in the middle of the night and problems finding a cab and getting lost and getting stuck in traffic and strange people staring at me on the subways, yes, but no more problems with rusty water.