THOUSANDS of people across Christchurch and parts of the New Forest turned on their taps at the weekend to discover an unusual – and unwelcome – surprise.

For many, the water they filled their baths, sinks and glasses with had a 'yellow or green tinge' to it.

People in New Milton, Hordle, Mudeford, Hurn, Burton and Highcliffe were among those affected.

However, it is understood that the problem has been spotted as far afield as East Dorset, with residents of St Leonards also reporting issues.

It is understood the colour could be caused by recent heavy rain.

One Burton resident took to social media to say their water had been "yucky".

A Tuckton resident couldn't believe what she was seeing.

She said: "I thought it was my eyes going funny."

Another said: "I thought I was going crazy."

Rumours quickly spread that the water is unsafe to drink or bathe in.

However, while the water is not quite the colour you'd expect it to be, officials say there is no cause for concern. 

Responding to reports from residents that the lurid water looks "contaminated", a Bournemouth Water spokesperson said an investigation has launched.

“Our water quality team are investigating this matter," the spokesperson said.

“We’d like to apologise to customers in the Christchurch and the broader BH25 area who may have noticed a slight change in the colour of their tap water.

“This has been caused by the recent heavy rainfall, which has resulted in increased colour in the river that supplies Knapp Mill Water Treatment Works.

“Our monitoring indicates that the colour in the raw and treated water is now improving and should return to normal in the next few days.

“We’d like to reassure customers that we are monitoring the situation closely and that the water is fine to continue to use as normal.”

October has been unusually rainy, with weather warnings issued for heavy rain on several occasions.

However, residents affected by problems with green water will be pleased to know this week will be drier, with lots of bright sunshine and highs of 14c predicted for tomorrow, Tuesday.