What Causes Drinking Water to Taste or Smell Bad?

What Causes Drinking Water to Taste or Smell Bad?

December 7, 2021

We expect water flowing from our taps to be odorless and taste fresh. That’s generally the case here in America due to our infrastructure system; however, there are cases in which water can develop a nasty taste or a foul smell.

If you’re asking yourself, “How can I figure out why my drinking water tastes bad?” then continue reading to learn why and what can be done to fix it.

Rotten egg smell

Hydrogen sulfide in your water supply is the usual culprit behind a rotten egg smell coming from your water, but it could also be a problem with a deteriorating water heater. While the water is perfectly fine to drink, you should talk to a professional to see why your water tastes so funky.

Metallic taste

Lead, copper, iron, manganese and zinc are a few of the most common metals that leach into a water supply and find their way into your plumbing system. These metals aren’t always dangerous, but they will leave a foul drinking water odor. Talk to a water purification contractor about this metallic taste to see what can be done to address it.

Earthy smell

A moldy or earthy smell is likely coming from your sink drain instead of the water itself; however, high concentrations of bacteria or organic matter in the local water supply can leave drinking water tasting a bit off. Depending on what the bacteria is, this water could be unsafe to consume. We recommend calling your water company to see if anyone else has noticed this issue or if it’s something related to your plumbing system alone.

Chlorine or chemical smell

Water treatment facilities use chlorine and other chemicals to treat water to keep us safe, but problems at treatment plants or other circumstances can leave a slight drinking water odor. These chemical levels aren’t necessarily harmful, but drinking something that tastes like pool water isn’t much fun! Contact your water company if this problem persists to see what the issue could be.

Salty taste

Water softeners use salt to remove unwanted minerals from the water supply, but the water should never taste too salty. If that’s the case, you’ll want to call a plumber to inspect your softener to see why it’s malfunctioning. It’s okay to use this salty water in the meantime, but we recommend buying a few cases of bottled water just to be safe.

Gasoline or solvent smells

This one is rare, but when underground storage tanks corrode, they can start to leak petroleum, fuel, turpentine or other harmful contaminants into our water supply. Unlike some of the smells or tastes above, water with a gasoline smell isn’t safe to drink. Stop using your water ASAP, and contact your local utility company to address the issue.

What’s the solution?

The best solution to any poor-tasting or smelling water is a water filtration system. One of our filtration systems will remove any and all contaminants from your water, leaving it tasting fresh and safe to drink. Call our team at Royal Water Works, Inc. to install your filter or learn more about why your drinking water tastes bad.

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