Why Does My Water Smell Bad?

Does your tap water ever taste and smell… well, not like water should? If you’re noticing your tap water has a specific flavor associated with it, you might want to consider a water filter. 
While there are many factors that can affect your tap water, common reasons involve  contaminants such as methyl isoborneol and geosmin – typically related to algal blooms. Having various contaminants in your drinking water can potentially be harmful, in addition to the unpleasant smell and taste. Let’s break down a few of the most common causes for water contaminants. 

1. Sulfer

One of the most reported odors is sulfur. Have you ever turned on a faucet and smelled rotten eggs? Did you immediately think there was an issue with the sewage? This is due to sulfur-reducing bacteria that grows inside the drain, water heater, or even the well. While the sulfate in the groundwater is not dangerous on average, it can indicate higher levels of pollution that you will want to check up on. Sulfur thrives off of bacteria and chemically transforms the natural sulfates in the water into hydrogen sulfide. When this change occurs, a strong, rotten egg odor will be distinct. 

2. Sulfate

Other times, the rotten egg smell can come about via a chemical reaction. Sulfate-reducing bacteria are in areas that lack sufficient oxygen. They produce hydrogen sulfide when feeding on decaying matter. With the right ventilation, the gas is able to release. Using aeration or chlorination can efficiently eliminate the smell.

3. Hot water heater

Your water heater could also be a source of the stink. When a chemical reaction occurs inside the hot water heater, you will smell rotten eggs when the hot water tap is in use. When this is in your water supply, the hydrogen sulfide could potentially corrode various types of metal pipes. 

4. Hot Water Pipes & wet dog oder

We are fairly certain that you don’t want the aroma of wet dog to be associated with your tap water. If this is the case for you, however, the hot water pipe should be in question. Water from a municipal treatment facility is tested consistently for safety precautions, and is rarely unsafe to drink, despite the wet dog smell.
With well water, it is treated less often, leading to bacteria build up. If bacteria accumulates in a drain, your hot water heater is run at low temperatures, or completely shut off for a time – you could experience this situation. Additionally, other componentants such as: metal concentration in pipes, organisms, chemicals, and contaminants from the environment can play a role in odor occurrence. 

So, How do you prevent oders?

So how do you prevent the funky smells from invading your tap water? Utilizing water filters is a great way to keep stinky odors and even flavor imbalances out. An option such as point-of-use filtration systems might be the right selection for you. With a point-of-use water filter, you can treat water in a single tap, unlike whole house water filtration systems. This system treats water right before it gets to the single tap it’s hooked up with. With this set up, it can treat the water whenever it’s dispensed. 
A carbon filter is one of the most common methods of filtration. Implementing a 1 Micron Carbon Block Filter can supply water with an even stronger filtration. Many specialists might recommend getting both a carbon filter and ultraviolet purification system to prevent bacteria from accumulating. 
With contaminants being subject to change based on geographical location, we recommend seeing specialists in your local area for installation. At Graydon Faulstick Plumbing, we have been proudly serving the West End & Poconos for over 40 years, and are equipped to assist you with your water treatment questions. You can reach us at 570-992-0447 or 610-381-4171 for more information.

By |2019-11-15T18:54:24+00:00November 15th, 2019|Plumbing|0 Comments