Why does my tap water taste terrible ?
Does your tap water taste terrible ? We explain you why!
Generally both your nose and your taste buds can tell when water isn’t as it tasty as one would like. The second thing to know about un-tasty water is that – as is usual with most municipal water systems – 9.7 times out of 10 – it won’t hurt you, it just doesn’t taste great. The third thing to know is that we can certainly come out and test the water for you, then suggest – and even install – a filtering system for you that will give you the greatest tasting water in the valley. In the meantime – here’s what’s up with water that tastes not-so-great:
A chlorine taste: In virtually every public or municipal water system in the country, chlorine is added at the last stage of water purification to ensure that water is absolutely safe to drink. Chlorine isn’t harmful to us in the tiny dosages used for water, and it absolutely kills any harmful germs and/or bacteria that may still be around after the water has gone through varying filtration stages. It’s important to know that municipalities monitor chlorine levels carefully, but sometimes more is needed to treat the water, and that may result in more of a chlorine smell. Conversely, some people are particularly sensitive to the taste and smell of chlorine, and tend to notice it far sooner than most people do. Again, the thing to remember is that it’s for your own good and it won’t hurt you.
A metallic or bitter taste: If you have copper, iron, or galvanized pipes – your water may have a metallic or bitter taste or smell, especially when you first turn it on. This is because the water has been sitting around in the pipes for a bit; you’ll notice it generally happens first thing in the morning when the water hasn’t been run for awhile. That’s also how to fix the problem – just run the water to get to the fresher content. HOWEVER – remember that we’re dealing with a water situation here in the Southwest, so be sure to run the water into a bucket or pitcher, and then use it to water your plants, or for cleaning. The water is also perfectly fine to drink, it just isn’t very tasty.
A musty taste: A “musty,” “earthy” taste (hard to describe) is generally a seasonal issue. In the spring especially, plant matter and algae is more prevalent in lakes, reservoirs, and the canals we have that lead to our water treatment facilities. Again – it’s not an issue of safety; the water is perfectly fine to drink, it’s just the taste and/or odor that can’t be filtered out 100%. It generally disappears when the weather is cooler.
When an unpleasant taste in your water is cause for worry:
If the change in taste is very recent: If your water tasted fine (or at least “ok”) up until a very short while ago – then the problem is probably in your plumbing system, namely – the pipes, and you should have it checked/tested, as a sudden change can be indicative of more serious problems.
If the taste or particularly the odor is faintly fuel-like: Generally this is detectable more by smell than by taste, but if the water tastes (or smells) of any kind of gas, turpentine, fuel or solvent, stop drinking it immediately and call your local water processing plant. You may have a leaking storage tank close to your water utilities supply system.