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Why Does My Water Smell? 4 Strange Tap Water Smells and Causes
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Why Does My Water Smell? 4 Strange Tap Water Smells and Causes

Smelly tap water can be stressful, but it’s not necessarily harmful. Here are four strange tap water smells and their causes, along with possible solutions.

1. Fishy

If your tap water smells like fish, you may be detecting chloramine – a compound of chlorine and ammonia used to disinfect public water sources. Unfortunately, chloramine sometimes causes a fishy odor.

Elements like barium and cadmium can also give off a fishlike smell. These are naturally occurring organic metals that can seep into your well water or other drinking source. The EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) regulates how much of these elements they allow in the water supply.

2. Rotten Eggs

If your tap water smells like rotten eggs, it’s likely produced by sulfur bacteria in your water system. In many cases, residential tap water develops a strong sulfur-like smell due to a buildup of hydrogen sulfide gas in your hot water heater after it has been sitting idle for awhile. While sulfur bacteria is not harmful to the human body, it produces a slime that can help other types of bacteria grow. Additionally, high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas in the air can be harmful.

In rare cases, a rotten egg small may come from sewage or other pollution.

3. Musty or Earthy

If your tap water smells musty or earthy, there may be iron bacteria in your water supply. Iron bacteria is created when iron and oxygen mix. This bacteria feeds on the iron, producing a slime to protect itself. When the iron bacteria dies, it emits a musty odor. Another possible culprit is algae bloom, which occurs when algae gets into the city’s water supply source.

4. Bleach

Most water treatment plants use chlorine to prevent bacterial growth. The EPA requires a small amount of chlorine be used in public water systems for disinfecting purposes. The level of chlorine must not exceed 4 mg/liter to be safely consumed. Otherwise your water can get over-chlorinated.

What About Hard Water?

Put simply, hard water is water with a high mineral content. The main minerals in hard water are calcium and magnesium. These minerals naturally accumulate over time in water supply systems. The more minerals in your water, the harder it is.

Hard water can cause damage in a variety of ways:

●        Ruin your laundry

●        Damage your hair

●        Produce higher electricity bills due to appliances having to work harder

●        Stain your bathtubs and sinks.

If your water is too hard, it is recommended to get a commercial water softener system, which removes calcium and magnesium from your water supply.

Solutions for Smelly Tap Water

Water Filtration Systems

A water filtration system removes contaminants, smells, and undesirable tastes. So how does it work? Water filtration is accomplished in two different ways; impure water is strained through a sieve to remove larger sediments, or water is treated with specific ingredients to purify it.

Water Coolers

A water cooler, also known as a water dispenser, is a machine that can warm up or cool down water. You can enjoy fresh, clean water in the comfort of your home or office. Maybe you’ve heard of “having conversations by the water cooler”?

Water Testing

Water testing consists of differing procedures to analyze the quality of your water. There are regulatory requirements that your water must meet to be safe for your home. With water testing, professionals can determine your water hardness, and identify impurities or toxins in your water.

Croix Crystal Water Treatment offers high-quality water conditioning and purification services in Hudson, Wisconsin and surrounding cities, including home delivery services. When it comes to the freshness of your tap water, it’s best to call in the professionals. Give us a call today at 715-386-8667, or connect with us online!

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