Why Does My Water Have a Musty Smell?

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.   

Water odors are not uncommon, and it is not unheard of to detect a dirty, musty or even rotting egg smell. Environmental factors have a key role to play in the production of foul odors, but it is also possible that a mechanical issue may have caused the problem.  bubbles-in-a-glass-of-water-1489434

Generally, musty smelling water is safe to use. But in some rare circumstances, it could be caused by pollution and be an indication of a greater problem. To achieve peace of mind and eliminate your musty water problem, you will need to identify the underlying cause of your unpleasant water aroma.  

The Causes of Musty Water Odors 

For users of wells or city water supplies, a musty odor is often the result of some sediment leaching into plumbing systems. Decaying organic matter can enter the water supply gradually, and produce an earthy aroma that infects your water supply. 

Pipe erosion may also allow trace levels of iron, copper, and lead to enter the water supply. These contaminants can adversely affect the taste and smell of your home’s water. Musty odors can also be the result of the hydrogen sulfide or sulfur bacteria. This is a potentially serious issue, as in some cases a heightened level of hydrogen sulfide could indicate the presence of harmful pollution or sewage in your water. In most cases, it is simply an offensive smell in the water, but musty water should be immediately investigated to determine if the problem has a serious underlying cause. 

What Can You Do About Musty Water? 

If your water has developed a musty smell, it is generally considered safe to use. Unfortunately, there are scenarios where it could be an indicator of a more serious problem. To ensure that your water supply is safe, it is a good idea to use a domestic water filtration system.

Water filtration will remove any metallic particles that may have entered the water supply from your pipes. It will also reduce sulfur bacteria and sedimentary content that compromise the aesthetics of your water.  

To meet your filtration needs, you can choose between a point-of-use water filtration system and whole house filtration system. While most people opt for a basic point-of-use filter pitcher, it is worth considering the impact of sediment on your plumbing and appliances. Accumulated sediment can compromise water flow and efficiency throughout your home. Additionally, some sediment can cause staining on clothing, dishes, and fixtures. A whole house filtration system eliminates this potential damage, as the water is filtered when it enters your property. This ensures that all fixtures, taps, and faucets in your home are supplied with clean, odor free water.  

It is important to discover the cause of any musty smells or foul odors in your water supply. If you are concerned about the possibility of sediment in your water or musty water smells, consider speaking to a water treatment expert. A water professional who is fully WQA certified can guide you through the range of filtration systems, water softeners/water conditioners available on the market, helping you find a choice that exceeds industry standards.




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