8 Reasons For Why Tap Water Tastes Bad

Last Updated on 14 May, 2024 by Sourav Roy

One of the essential steps to follow when buying a water purifier is identifying the content in your tap water- a good way to do that is through taste. Clean water normally tastes bland, but if it has a foul taste, that could be an indicator of various contaminants.

Reasons For Why Tap Water Tastes Bad

In this post, I’ll tell you why tap water tastes bad and even provide some extra tips to make it taste better. Additionally, I’ll also explain why water tastes normal but has odd smells in some cases. Let’s get started.


Why Tap Water Tastes Bad

Contaminants or even the lack of certain minerals can affect the taste of water. You’ll learn about the reasons for all the different types of tastes in this section.

1. Chemical Taste

Tap Water Chemical Taste

The usual reason for water tasting like chemicals isn’t particularly harmful. Water from local water treatment facilities normally tastes like that since chlorine is added for disinfection. The further you are from the facility, the stronger the taste of chlorine can be, as more is added to make up for longer distances. If your water often tastes like that, you can make it taste better by getting a good water purifier equipped with an activated carbon filter.


2. Muddy Or Musty Taste

Muddy Tap Water

Water can have such a taste for two reasons. In rural areas, well water usually tastes like that since it contains a lot of minerals. Treated water in cities can also have a similar taste if the algae within aren’t removed properly. You can treat this water with Reverse Osmosis to make it taste better.


3. Bitter Taste

Check Tap Water TDS

If your water tastes bitter, it likely has a high amount of TDS. If you want to check the TDS levels of your water, you can check out this post. If the TDS level turns out to be too high, you can fix it with a TDS Controller. Corrosion in your plumbing can also lead to such an issue, so if TDS isn’t an issue, consider installing a water softener.


4. Petrol or Diesel-like Taste

Water can taste like this for some rather complicated reasons, which you can’t fix easily. For one, fuel could be leaking into your water source from a storage tank or a parking lot, if you’re near one. In this case, it’s best to get your entire water source tested and taken care of by the local water authority, as something like that poses a huge risk. Simply cleansing the water you get for drinking won’t be enough.

Recommended Reading: What Is Hard Water? All You Need To Know


5. Metallic Taste

 High iron Tap Water

Tap water can gain a significant metallic taste because of a high concentration of dissolved metals like iron. Although not dangerous, the metallic taste is unusual and off-putting. In some cases, these metals can ruin some of your water pipes. There’s not much you can do about that, except being ready to call a plumber. To make this water taste better for drinking, you can install an RO purification system or a UF one.


6. Salty Taste

Determination of Chloride ions in Tap Water

Salty water is mostly prominent in coastal areas, though it can be found in other places. High concentrations of chloride ions and sulfates can lead to such taste. An RO purification system is enough to fix the taste.


7. Sweet Taste

Sweet Taste Tap Water

Water tasting sweet isn’t that bad of a thing. You don’t need to be concerned about health issues, as water only tastes sweet because of harmless dissolved minerals. If you’d rather drink regular water, though, then getting a high-end RO purifier will help you control the amount of minerals in your water.


8. Spoiled Egg Smell

Ceramic Filter Portable Faucet Water Tap Purifier

The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs is common in well water, or initial bursts of hot water poured from pipes. It’s caused by hydrogen sulfide. You can make it smell better by installing a ceramic filter or an RO water purifier.

Recommended Reading: Different Types Of Water: Everything You Need To Know


Is Any Water With Unusual Taste Bad?

sparkling water

Before concluding the post, I wanted to address this important question. As you’ve seen in some parts earlier, water can taste different and is harmless unless consumed in excess amounts. Certain water types that are good for health can be different too. For example, sparkling water tastes fizzy and is completely healthy.


Final Word

Now that you know why tap water tastes bad, you’ll know how to choose the perfect water purifier for yourself. Once you purchase one, you can stay healthier and enjoy drinking water that tastes far better. It might take some effort to check what things are in your water, but making sure that it’s safe will go a long way.

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