Several months ago we returned from vacation to find that our well had lost its prime. When the prime was reestablished, we had excessively rusty water to the point that it appeared like sludge. We had the pump and tank replaced,the water softener cleaned and I drained the water tank from the bottom several times. In spite of that, our hot water continues to be rusty, to various degrees. One day not so bad, and then nearly brown the next. The cold water is fine and the hot water tank is about 3 years old.

A couple of questions.
Is it possible that the water has destroyed something in the tank to the point it needs to be replaced?

Other than draining the tank from the bottom, are there any other ideas on how to clean the tank?