Tap Water

Why Your Tap Water Smells Bad And Ways How to Fix It!

If you have encountered a difficult situation when tap water stinks, and you do not know how to fix it, the first thing you should do is locate the problem. 

According to a paper that the University of Georgia published, the first step is to locate the odor source. If there is an odor from every water faucet, the issue is usually with the main water supply. If it just affects a few faucets, the issue is probably with the fittings or pipes that feed those particular faucets. Additionally, if the issue disappears after running the water for a few minutes, it is likely related to the home’s plumbing system. If the smell continues, the water supply may be the cause, or it may be a mix of the water source and the plumbing system.

Bad smelling is an uncomfortable problem and can be a problem in hydrating or even in personal hygiene. Therefore, here are some types of smells that may come from faucets and ways to fix them according to the university mentioned before:


In order to stop bacterial development, public water providers often chlorinate their water. Free chlorine concentrations in PWS drinking water typically range from 0.2 to 2.0 parts per million (ppm), however, they can reach as high as 5.0 ppm. If water is exposed to air for several minutes, chlorine-related odors normally disappear. Strong bleach (chlorine) odor is produced when chlorine is added to water by shock chlorination of a well or plumbing system. When chlorine has entirely disappeared, the scent of bleach is gone. To do this, turn on the outdoor faucets and let the water flow until the odor is disappeared.

Sulfurous or Rotten Egg

This smell is a result of bacterial activity, which can be because of : 

  • Bacteria growing in the drain, on the drain’s inside walls, and organic waste like hair, soap, and leftover food can build up over time. As a result of these deposits, germs can flourish. The bacteria have the ability to release gas with sewage or rotten egg aromas. The issue could be solved if you check to see if the odor is present in both the hot and cold water, and that it is coming from one or a few faucets only. Water from the smelly sink should be poured into a glass, and after a few swirls within the glass, move away from the sink. The tap water in the glass shouldn’t smell if the issue is in the drain, and if the water in the glass does not smell, you should disinfect and flush the drain.
  • Bacteria growing in the water heater can also produce a rotten egg or sewage smell. This frequently happens if the hot water is not utilized, if the water heater is kept off for a long time, or if the thermostat is set too low. The germs that cause this issue often do not pose a health risk, but the taste and odor can be rather disagreeable. To solve the problem, make sure that hot water smells, but cold water does not. Often, the smell originates from a magnesium heating rod in the hot water tank. Also, A qualified plumber can replace the heater’s magnesium rod with a suitable substitute, such as an aluminum rod. 
  • Bacteria growing in the well; the smell might be coming from the water supply if issues with the drain or water heater are cleared out. Then you should address it in this way; If you have a well of your own, the natural chemistry of the groundwater may be stimulating bacterial development there. Pump water from the well while shocking-chlorinating it until the chlorine smell goes away. Or Your well may be close to a septic system that is broken or installed incorrectly, which in this case you should call the authorities.  

Moldy or Fishy Odor 

The human senses of taste and smell are extraordinarily sensitive, even at very low levels, despite the fact that these fragrances are completely safe. These scents on the report of the Washington State Department of Health might result from Organic particles decomposing in the drain and surface drainage, contaminating well water. 

In both situations, the presence of bacteria is extremely typical. The organic debris that has decomposed and been deposited over time in the drain is by far the most frequent source of this kind of issue. Fill a glass with tap water, then go away from the sink and swirl the water in the glass a few times to make sure the issue is not with the well. The tap water in the glass shouldn’t smell if the issue is in the drain. The smell should go after cleaning, disinfecting, and flushing the drain. 

Such an odor might potentially be coming from the reservoir or pressure tank. Cleaning and maintaining the reservoir and pressure tank on a regular basis can stop bacteria from building up to the point where they start to smell in the water. Less occasionally, specific types of bacteria, fungus, and algae that are developing in the water supply, particularly during warm weather, might impact the water’s odor. If the well is the source of the issue, shock chlorinates it, and pumps plenty of water out of it until the chlorine odor goes away. Consider adding a filter like a reverse osmosis system to solve this issue more efficiently. 

Fuel-like odor

Despite the rarity of these odor issues, they can be quite dangerous. These smells might be caused by: a gasoline tank leak or an underground fuel storage tank next to your well might be too responsible for these smells, contamination of the water supply due to discharge from industries or landfills, and agricultural runoff damaging the water supply.  

Drinking this water can cause some health consequences for anemia, increased risk of cancer, and liver and kidney problems

In this case, you cannot solve anything except calling the authorities to solve the issue which will bring your safety. 

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