If you have access to good quality water in your home, you will notice that it has no underlying odor and a clean taste. Sadly, many water consumers are not in this position; they use water that may have a strange taste or odor. These water characteristics can make the water unpalatable and unpleasant to use, and in some cases, it may even be a warning that your water is unsafe. In this article, we will look at four common water tastes and odors and explain what they mean.

  1. Earth or Musty

If your water has an earthy or musty taste or odor, it could mean that your water is passing under some exceptionally peaty land. Most water treatment plants in these types of areas use processes to remove the organic materials that can cause these unwanted water characteristics. There are also bacteria and algae present in surface water supplies, such as rivers, streams, and lakes that will naturally produce contaminants that impart an earthy or musty flavor and smell to drinking water. These types of organisms could even be present in your own home, if you’ve only recently noticed this phenomenon try washing the exterior and interior of your taps with a good household disinfectant. Then run the faucets for a short while to ensure that any residual disinfectant is rinsed away.

  1. That “Swimming Pool” Taste

If your drinking water has a “swimming pool” taste and odor, it’s caused by chlorine. This has been used to disinfect water for over a century, and it’s considered safe to use. Public water suppliers use chlorine to kill bacteria and germs during the final stages of water treatment. The closer you live to the water plant, will affect the strength of the chlorine taste and odor. Recent research has suggested that exposure to chlorine byproducts in a gaseous form during showering could be a cancer risk. For many people, drinking water containing chlorine is unpalatable, and they install their own water treatment systems to remove this chemical.

  1. A Metallic Bitter Taste

This is often caused by water that has passed through galvanized, iron or copper pipes. If the water has been standing in the pipe for a while, it will take on a metallic taste. Fresh water should be drawn after running the taps for a few minutes to remove the affected water. As their plumbing ages, many homeowners opt to replace their older metal pipes with newer PVC pipes that don’t have these types of problems.

  1. A Petrol or Diesel Taste

If the drinking water coming into your home has a petrol or diesel fuel taste, there is a serious problem that you need to solve. Water with these characteristics should not be used for drinking or cooking purposes. This is a sure sign that contamination has taken place, and the water isn’t safe to use. The contamination could have occurred after recent work carried out on your heating system or perhaps there is a fuel storage tank leak on your property. The source of the contamination will need to be found, and the problem must be fixed before your water is safe to use again.

By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.