Tap water is not always pure and crystal clear, it can have flavors and smells from different sources, and each one has a possible solution.

The bad taste or smell of tap water affects us every day, whether it’s cooking, making coffee, brushing teeth or simply drinking a glass of tap water. However, the bad taste of tap water is not always due to the same causes. Identify them to find the right solution. These are the eight flavors and odors that identify the causes of bad taste in water and their corresponding solution:

1. Bitter taste

The bitter taste of tap water is usually the result of high concentrations of total dissolved solids, which is called dry residue on mineral water labels. Water with high solids concentrations is called hard water. Another reason water tastes bitter can be corrosion caused by aging copper pipes in your home.

Solution: A reverse osmosis system or a ceramic filter.

2. Chlorine or chemical taste

City water treatment adds chlorine to disinfect the water supply and kill pathogens. If the water has to travel a longer distance, additional chlorine is added to compensate. While the chlorine level is not harmful, it can affect the taste of tap water.

Solution: A charcoal water filter.

3. Dirty or fishy taste

Well water tends to have an earthy and mineral taste. In the case of city water, the earthy taste can be the result of untreated algae that were not removed during treatment. Water with traces of algae tends to have a musty taste.

Solution: A reverse osmosis system or a ceramic filter.

4. Gasoline flavor

Water that smells like gasoline or diesel has many different sources, none of which have a simple solution. There may be water intrusion from a fuel storage tank or well that absorbs runoff from driveways or nearby parking lots. Due to the potential for hazardous chemicals in the water supply, it is always best to discontinue use immediately and test the water. You should also call your water company to see if any pipes have been recently broken that could also cause the odor, and then see a licensed plumber.

Solution: consult a plumber and your water utility.

5. I like metal

High levels of dissolved metals such as iron, magnesium and zinc can give tap water a distinct metallic taste. Although the presence of these metals is not harmful to health, they do damage water pipes.

Solution: A reverse osmosis system or an ultrafiltration system.

6. Rotten egg smell

Hydrogen sulfide causes a sulfur or rotten egg smell when water is turned on or hot water is used. Hydrogen sulfide, common in well water, can increase the rate of corrosion in your pipes.

Solution: A ceramic filter

7. salty flavor

Salty tasting water is likely caused by high concentrations of chloride ions. Although it is common in coastal regions, it can also appear in other areas. Sulphates can also cause a salty taste in tap water. Sulphates are common in soil and are collected when water flows through the soil to the water supply. Rain and snow can also cause road salt to reach local reservoirs.

Solution: A reverse osmosis system.

8. Sweet taste

Sweet-tasting water can be the result of certain dissolved minerals that are not harmful to health, such as calcium or iron. It can also be a sign of pH imbalance or water alkalinity.

Solution: an alkaline ionization filter (very low pH), a reverse osmosis system (very high pH) or a ceramic filter.

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