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Does your tap water taste funny it could be an issue

Tap water may not be the most glamorous beverage on hand in the kitchen, but that fresh source of water pumped directly through the faucets is a precious resource. And because tap water sees such regular usage in day-to-day necessities, it’s imperative that it continues running clean and clear. If the tap water in your home starts to take on an unusual taste, or if the water odor suddenly becomes noticeable and off-putting, there is a good chance that something is amiss. Fortunately, there are ways to pinpoint the root cause of funky water tastes and odors, as each taste and smell has its own associated probable cause.

Sulfur/Rotten Egg Odors & Tastes

woman holding her nose

This pungent smell is distinct and hard to avoid. If the tap water smells like rotten eggs, or like sulfur, the first step is to determine if it’s actually coming from the water or the drain. Putting a bit of tap water into a glass, then stepping away from the faucet before smelling the water in the glass will let you know — if the water still smells, then the source is water, but if the water doesn’t smell, the source is the drain.

Narrowing down the smell to actual smelly tap water means the likely culprit is the hot water heater. If water sits within the heater without being used, or if the element within the hot water heater used to protect the heater from corrosion begins to break-down, a sulfuric scent will seep into the hot water, causing water odor. Contacting a local plumbing professional will allow you to diagnose this problem for sure, and the hot water heater will likely need to be flushed and re-filled.

If the source of the smell is the drain, this is likely caused by the breakdown in bacteria within the drain. Similar to the water heater issue, the drain will likely need to be flushed to clear out any remaining bacteria, along with the source of their growth. If you need help with this process, a plumbing expert is a surefire bet to make sure the job is done thoroughly.

Chlorine/Chemical/Medicinal Odors & Tastes
Tap water is chlorinated to ensure the elimination of bacterial and mold growth in the treatment phase but is carried through in trace amounts in the tap water at large. Chlorine can also interact with organic materials found within pipes, letting off more the bleach/chemical smell. If your tap water is letting off a chlorinated or sour water flavor, it’s best to let your tap run for an extended period, and try another sample. If the smell hasn’t diminished, contact your water utility service for advice.

If you’re receiving well water with a chlorinated taste, it could be a byproduct of shock chlorination, which is when a concentrated addition of chlorine is added to well water to eliminate bacterial growth in the well. If this smell and taste persist, the best solution is to the flush the water system, to ensure all remnants of the shock chlorination have been thoroughly rinsed through the well, making the well water taste better.

Gasoline/Petroleum/Sewage Odors & Tastes
If the tap water is letting off the smell of gasoline, petroleum, or raw sewage, this is an immediate cause of concern. These can be caused by leaking underground fuel tanks, contamination of the groundwater from a nearby landfill, or even runoff from agricultural areas into the main water supply. Whatever the reason may be, these are serious red flags that call for immediately contacting either the main water utility service or the county health department to determine the source of the issue and to ensure the source is eliminated as quickly and thoroughly as possible. This is an instance where it cannot be stressed enough — Do NOT continue using the water source until the issue is resolved.

Finding and elimination the source of smelly water odors and weird water tastes can be tricky on your own. Even if you think you know what the exact issue is, ensuring that it’s taken care of completely can be a very involved task. If you feel like you need assistance in tackling a water taste or water odor issue, contact the professionals at Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling by calling (815) 781-2567, or contact them online through the online scheduling portal. The team at Duane Blanton will be able to answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction to take out your water odor issues at their source.


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