Magnet reveals if brown water is caused by rust

I noticed that placing a small magnet in water drained from my hot water tank did indeed collect bits of rust.
It seems to me that using a magnet can reveal if brown water is caused by rusting, as opposed to dirt seeping into broken pipes, for example.
Thanks, Kingsley
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Dirt does not seep into water pipe that have 40 to 110 psi of pressure in them. You can get colored water from a well that sucks up mud, old rusted cast iron water mains, minerals in the water. Probably a few other reasons also. If you have a broken pipe, you will probably spot it by the lush green lawn in that area, the big puddle (summer), or the skating rink (winter) out by the road.
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