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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. 

Why Your Water Tastes or Smells Weird

Each water supply has a different composition of contaminants. In the case of public water supplies, it may have a diverse assortment of additives. It’s that difference that makes a glass of water from one town taste or smell different from another.


There are several reasons why your water may taste or smell strange. However, not all odors cause concern. Before you panic, here are a few reasons why your water may taste or smell weird.

  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS):
    Water is really good at dissolving things. Therefore, water easily picks up all sorts of minerals, salts, and metals. Those substances that dissolve in your water are known as total dissolved solids or TDS. TDS in drinking water comes from urban run-off sources, chemicals used in the water treatment, and plumbing pipes. TDS can make your water smell weird and taste metallic, salty, bitter even sweet.
  • Organic Compounds:
    A frequent cause of musty, earthy odors in water is naturally occurring organic compounds. Organic compounds (think algae) 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 hydrogen sulfide isn’t much of a concern when found in water, it can lead to pipe corrosion and damage to plumbing fixtures. And, well, it doesn’t smell right either.
  • Sodium and Chloride:
    Sodium and chloride in water can cause a salty taste. Therefore, excess chloride or salty-tasting water is worth checking into fairly quickly. Many things can cause this excess chloride. For example, excess chloride can leach into water from irrigation, industrial, or even sewage accidents. Other possible causes include sea or rainwater in your system or malfunctioning water softener equipment. If your water is salty-tasting, a water test is a good idea, no matter the reason.

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How FONTUS Can Help

The water treatment experts at FONTUS can test your private well for any common hazards such as unusual smells or tastes. So, give FONTUS a call; we’ll be right out to provide a free immediate-response water test


FONTUS can perform a water test onsite for immediate results. This test allows us to determine if iron, manganese, hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, alkalinity, salinity, copper are present in your water. So, before we leave, you’ll have your questions answered. And most importantly, a plan in hand to make sure your water is clean and pure.

In short, taking control of your water supply is easy. Schedule your free immediate-response water test today. Call (207) 865-8165 or email to speak with the water treatment specialists at FONTUS Water Treatment.


At FONTUS, we’re passionate about water purity. We pride ourselves on being reliable, hassle-free, and always available. For example, as the environment and your water change, we’re here to help evaluate your water through testing, installation, and maintenance. Above all, you can trust FONTUS to ensure clean, pure water for your home or office.

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