Have you ever moved to a new town only to find the new tap water tastes bad? Or maybe you’re at a friend’s house and are given a glass of water that has a funny taste or smell to it. What causes that funny taste or smell? Is your tap water safe to drink? What should you do if your tap water tastes funny? We’ll answer these questions and more in our blog.
Tap Water Tastes Bad
Nobody likes tap water that tastes bad. Your water should be refreshing, and most importantly, clean! There are a few possible culprits responsible for your bad tasting tap water, including:
- Dissolved Solids – Dissolved solids, also called Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), are the compounds left in your tap water after normal treatment and filtration and can be a result of natural sources, sewage, street run-off, industrial waste, or chemicals used during the treatment process.
- Chlorine – Perhaps the most common smell or taste found in tap water, chlorine can cause your water to taste like chemicals and is generally something you need not worry about. However, if the taste of chlorine in your tap water is unbearable, contact your local water supplier.
- Natural Metals – There are many natural metals found in tap water, including copper, iron, and lead. When found in low concentrations, these metals are harmless. However, rusty brown water is a key indicator of high iron levels, and you should contact your water supplier immediately.
- Algae – During the summertime your tap water may taste moldy, and the combination of high temperatures, humidity, and rain showers common to Florida promote algal bloom in lakes, reservoirs, and other water sources.
Tap Water Smells Bad
If tap water collected from a particular sink or faucet has unusual smells, the problem is most likely in the fixtures or pipes supplying that particular faucet. However, if you smell strange odors in your water or coming from your faucets, your main water supply may be contaminated. Common smells found in Florida tap water are:
- Bleach, Chemical, or Medicinal Odors – Before being declared safe to drink, there are certain chemicals that must be added to Florida tap water. In some cases, these chemicals may interact with organic materials found in the plumbing system of your home or office, adding odor to the water.
- Sulfurous, Decayed, or Sewage Odors – If your water smells sulfurous (like rotten eggs), decayed or has a distinct sewage smell, chances are there is bacterial growth in your water supply. Most commonly found in the plumbing of your home, bacteria growth can be caused by hair, soap, or waste in drains, bacteria growth in your water heater, or bacteria growth in your well.
- Moldy, Earthy, or Fish Odors – If your tap water smells moldy, earthy, grassy, or fishy, it is important to call your water supplier. These odors can be traced back to decaying organic matter in the drain or pollution of well water from surface drainage.
- Soapy Odors – A soapy, detergent-like smell or consistency in your water often means septic tank leakage has found its way into your water supply.
- Gasoline or Fuel–Like Odors – Although very rare, your tap water may have a distinct fuel-like odor. This is most commonly attributed to a leaky fuel tank near wells, agriculture run-off, or discharge from factories or landfills.
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