The orange/yellow particulate in your water could be caused by a couple of different problems.
Water softeners contain beads made from zeolite resin. The beads remove the calcium and minerals in the water and replace them with potassium or sodium ions. Over time, the screen that holds the beads in place can fail and allow the beads to enter the water supply.
The particulate could also indicate a problem with the drip tube. This plastic tube is meant to carry cold water to the bottom of your hot water tank. Certain types of water can cause the tubing to dissolve, which can cause small pieces of plastic to appear in your water. If this is the case, you will also notice that you get lukewarm water instead of hot water.