The Fontus Guide to Water’s Odor + Taste
Does your water have a strange odor or taste? Maybe it smells like rotten eggs or metal, or maybe it tastes sweet, salty, or bitter. If your water tastes or smells unusual, we can help explain what may be going on.
Each water supply has a different composition of contaminants, and in the case of public water supplies, a different composition of additives as well. It’s that difference that makes a glass of water from one town taste or smell different from another.
Why your water tastes or smells weird
There are several reasons why your water may taste or smell strange, but before you panic, not all are cause for concern. Here are a few reasons why your water may taste or smell strange:
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): Water is really good at dissolving things. Because of that, it easily picks up all sorts of minerals, salts, and metals. All those substances that are dissolved in your water are known as total dissolved solids or TDS.
TDS in drinking water come from sources (such as urban run-off, chemicals used in the water treatment process, and plumbing pipes), and can make your water smell weird and taste metallic, salty, bitter, or even sweet.
Organic Compounds: A frequent cause of musty, earthy odors in water is naturally occurring organic compounds (think algae) that come from decaying plant material in lakes and reservoirs. The good news is it’s more of an aesthetic rather than a health issue.
Hydrogen Sulfide: If your water has a strong egg smell to it, you can blame it on the presence of a compound known as hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide occurs naturally in water as a product of plants decomposing. While it isn’t too much of a concern if it’s found in water, it’s presence can lead to pipe corrosion and damage to plumbing fixtures. And, well, it smells bad.
Sodium and Chloride: Water with a salty taste is usually caused by the presence of sodium and chloride—and is usually worth checking into fairly quickly. That’s because excess chloride may leach into water after irrigation, industrial, or even sewage accidents. It’s also possible that sea or rainwater has gotten into your system or that your water softener is malfunctioning. No matter the cause, with salty-tasting water, you’ll want to get it checked out.
Schedule a Fontus free water test
If your water is tasting or smelling strange to you, and you’re worried that there may be a problem, give us a call. The best way to know what is in your water is by testing it. We’ll come out and administer a free water test then make sure you understand your results. We’ll even send a second test to the Maine State Laboratory to confirm our findings.
The Fontus Triple Test Promise
We want all our customers to feel 100% satisfied with our systems, so we’ve created the Fontus Triple Test Promise.
We’ll test your home or business water supply for aesthetic issues, including hardness, iron, pH, etc. using an immediate-response test and make sure you understand all findings.
If needed, we’ll also send a water sample to the Maine State Certified Laboratory to confirm any findings and test for bacteria, viruses, and hazardous chemicals.
After your new system is in place, we’ll test your water supply again to make sure your problem is solved. It’s our way of helping you feel confident that your drinking water is safe and clean.