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Tap Water Trials: Why Does Your Water Taste Bad?

You already know that the plastic produced by bottled water isn’t environmentally friendly. However, it’s hard to be satisfied with tap water when it tastes or smells bad. Municipal water is frequently tested, and an unpleasant taste or odor does not usually mean the water is dangerous. Still, distasteful water is no fun to drink. Here are four common causes of bad-tasting or smelling water, and what you can do to fix them.


Many water systems use chlorine as a disinfectant. You may be noticing chlorine in your water if the smell reminds you of a swimming pool. Although the chlorine in your drinking water is not dangerous, you will enjoy the taste more if you filter it out. Carbon filters can help reduce the amount of chlorine in your tap water.

Hydrogen Sulfide

You will know there’s hydrogen sulfide in your drinking water if it smells or tastes like rotten eggs. Similar to chlorine, hydrogen sulfide is not usually dangerous. It is formed by bacteria that occur naturally in water. However, since even a little bit of hydrogen sulfide produces a repulsive odor and taste, you will want to filter it out.

Carbon filters can remove small amounts of hydrogen sulfide. If your water has a lot of this, you will need to change out the filters frequently.

Total Dissolved Solids

Any substances that are left in drinking water after it’s been filtered and treated are referred to as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). TDS are particles small enough to pass through a filter, and can include things like chemicals, minerals, and soil. Although TDS are not thought to be dangerous, they can make your water taste bitter or salty.

If your water has high TDS levels, it’s usually because you have hard water. This can be corrected by installing a water softener.


If your water has a metallic taste or smell, it’s probably due to copper, iron, or lead. All three metals can be found in tap water. Copper and iron are usually found in low concentrations. While copper and iron aren’t dangerous to your health, they can be bad for your pipes. Iron in particular can stain and damage plumbing. Both of these metals can also discolor your water, which is unsettling to see.

In contrast, lead can be harmful. Lead usually comes from older plumbing lines, and it’s considered a contaminant. If you think your tap water contains lead, reduce your chances of ingesting it by running your water for a couple seconds before using any. This helps flush out any lead that’s sitting in the pipe.

All three of these metals can be removed from water using reverse osmosis filtration. Call us today about getting the right water treatment system for you.

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