Cork City Council representatives have called on Irish Water to appear before its Environment, Amenity and Water Committee to answer claims made about dark brown water coming from taps in some homes in parts of Cork city.

There have been numerous reports of water tinged with a strong dark-brown hue coming from taps in parts of the city over the past few months - drawing comparisons online to tea.

Irish Water has confirmed it received in the region of 600 calls in relation to discolouration from customers in Cork city since July, however they also stated that "not all of these calls have been in relation to this instance of discolouration".

One of those who witnessed brown water flowing from taps in her home is Dr Síle Ní Mhurchú, a lecturer at Roinn an Nua-Ghaeilge at University College Cork.

"We first noticed it in August and it has happened a few times since then," she said.

"The water [coming from the tap] can be a sort of brown-yellow colour and you wouldn't want to drink it - so we then have to go to the supermarket to buy water.

"The discolouration normally lasts for an hour or so and then the water is back to normal. We’ve lived in our home in The Lough for almost 10 years and this had never happened before until this year. It’s a little bit worrying."

Dr Ní Mhurchú subsequently tweeted a photograph of the tea-like water which elicited responses online telling of similar occurrences in other homes.

In a statement, Irish Water said that discolouration can occur for a number of reasons, such as old infrastructure, bursts and network improvement works.

The old treatment plant in Cork city had been in operation since the 1920s and Irish Water says it is currently in the process of bringing the new water treatment plant online to provide "a modern robust and secure supply for the city".

Councillor Dan Boyle of the Green Party is set to chair the Environment, Amenity and Water Committee when it sits next month at City Hall. He said that Irish Water have yet to confirm their attendance before the committee, which will convene in the third week of November.

Irish Water is continuing to investigate intermittent customer complaints and has carried out extensive testing and sampling of water supplies throughout Cork city.

A programme of network flushing is also under way to address any remaining localised discolouration issues.

When mains are flushed there can be discolouration visible in the water for a period of time afterwards. Customers are advised they should not drink discoloured water.

Any queries or concerns in relation to discolouration can be made directly to Irish Water at 1800 278 278.