My Tap Water Has a Foul Odor, what should i do?

A ghastly stench should be the last thing to expect when you turn on your faucet. Tap water can carry a wide array of different odors but no matter the cause, it is possible to pinpoint the source and eradicate it. Since locating the exact cause of your potential tap water odor can be challenging, we’ve put together this guide on what to do when your faucets start to stink.

Follow the Odor to its Source

Solving any stinky water problem starts by first determining where the smell is coming from. There are a number of locations as well as numerous reasons for why tap water might carry a foul odor. If the odor only occurs in some of your faucets and goes away after running the water for a few minutes, then the cause is likely somewhere in the fixtures or pipes supplying those faucets.

If the odor occurs in all your faucets, then things get trickier. If the odor dissipates after running the water for a few minutes, then the source is likely in the plumbing system. If the problem does not resolve itself even after running water for a few minutes, then the smell could be coming from your water heater, water source, or plumbing system. No matter the source, water treatment can eliminate any odor and make your tap water safe to drink.

Chemical Odors

Are you experiencing odors that smell like chemicals such as bleach or chlorine? It makes sense – after all, many public water suppliers use chlorine to prevent bacterial growth. However, chlorine produces a strong, bleach-like odor. In some cases, it interacts with organic materials that have accumulated in your plumbing system to give off an even stronger musty smell.

Rotten Egg Stench

When your tap water reeks of sulfur (or that rotten egg odor that most people are familiar with), the problem likely lies in your drain, water heater, or water source. When sulfur-reducing bacteria grow, they feed on sulfur and convert natural sulfates in water into hydrogen sulfide, which emits that infamous egg smell we all know and hate. Water testing can determine if these bacteria live in your water system.

Musty and Moldy Odors

Odors that are musty, moldy, earthy, or even fishy typically come from bacteria in your drain. This is especially true if decayed organic matter is trapped in your pipes. The most effective way to remove decaying matter and the scent that follows it is by disinfecting, cleaning, and flushing your drain. Furthermore, musty odors can also be caused by algae or fungal growth in your water supply, or insufficient amounts of chlorine in your public water supply.

Smells Like Gasoline

Unlike other causes of odorous tap water, it is much rarer for water to smell like gasoline or petroleum. However, when they occur, they are very serious – anemia, liver and kidney problems and increased risk of cancer are all possible consequences of drinking this water. Odors that smell like gasoline could indicate any of the following reasons:

  • A leaking fuel storage tank near your water supply
  • Contamination due to discharge from landfills
  • Runoff from agriculture leaking into your water supply

Are you experiencing smelly tap water in your home? Some causes of these odors can be harmless, but others are much more serious. No matter the reason, you should reach out to the experts at Smart Water and Waste Treatment Technology. We offer a wide array of water treatment products to ensure that your tap water is safe to use and consume. Contact us today and ask about our water testing services!