Why does an unpleasant smell come from the tap water?

The smell of water from the tap can change for the worse for a number of reasons. More often than not, water begins to smell unpleasantly due to the metal of water pipes, excessive reproduction of microorganisms, chemicals used to control harmful bacteria, various kinds of pollution from the environment, and so on.

Tap water

For some reason, a common problem is the unpleasant smell of water from the tap.

The person facing this problem needs to try to understand why the water from the tap smells, and to remove the unpleasant odor themselves or to contact the appropriate services.

Unpleasant odor

Analysis of water quality

If there is a strong smell of water, immediately contact a special service for analysis.

Quite often, water, which does not have a pleasant odor, is quite safe for the human body. Before entering the consumer's faucet, water, if it comes from urban treatment facilities, must be filtered. Authorized organizations regularly check the liquid for the presence of harmful microorganisms. However, if the water smells more clearly than the permissible limits, especially when it comes from a well or well, it is necessary to contact the appropriate organization with a request for a fluid analysis. Drinking stinky water is strongly discouraged, since such changes in odor can signal the presence of very serious problems.

There are many reasons for the appearance of an unpleasant odor. Most often, water changes its odor under the influence of cleansing chemicals. No less common reason for the appearance of the problem in question is the poor quality of water pipes. Open the tap and wait a few seconds. If the smell of water has improved, you can calm down. In addition, it is recommended to boil this water or filter before use.

In cities, water is regularly checked. The results of such tests are available to all comers. As a rule, the municipal services of the city make conclusions and give recommendations to the inhabitants of each district, since practically in any settlement there are very old houses with pipelines of questionable quality.

Causes of appearance

Determination of the chlorination of water

Determination of the chlorination of water.

As for chemical sources that lead to the appearance of an unpleasant smell, most often they are chlorine and sulfur. In many regions, sulfur enters the water naturally, while in certain periods of the year there is an increase in its concentration. Sulfur can be recognized by the characteristic smell of foul eggs. Because of it, water gets a bitter taste.

Chlorine is the substance most often used for water purification. Sometimes it is added too much, in some situations it simply stagnates in the pipes. Therefore, water should be allowed to flow for some time through the tap. Usually, the taste and smell of the substance disappear after a few seconds.

The metal of water pipes leads to a change in the smell of water. Lead, steel and copper can get into the water, giving it unique flavors and aromas. Steel and copper are usually present in water in low concentration and are not capable of damaging the human body, but can lead to a discoloration of the liquid. If rusty water came from the tap, then this indicates an increased iron content. A more serious problem is lead. Even in low concentration, it is very harmful to human health. If there is a slightest suspicion of water contamination with lead, you should stop using it and contact the water canal with a request for verification.

Flowering of algae

Flowering of algae in the reservoir is also a fairly common cause of the unpleasant smell of water.

The appearance of an unpleasant smell of water is sometimes caused by the flowering of algae in the reservoir. Before entering the consumers' faucets, the water is repeatedly filtered and purified from different kinds of organisms, but the smell can remain. Usually the use of household filters can eliminate odor. For health, such water is in most cases harmless.

In addition to the change in the smell of water, the leakage of the system may result. If substances from the environment penetrate the water pipes, the effect of its use will be absolutely unpredictable. As a rule, water pipes are reliably isolated from sewage, since the sewage system is always laid below the supply lines of clean water, but it is impossible to completely protect from other pollutants. If your house is located in a place with a high concentration of any kind of pollution, adhere to the advice of local utilities. In such areas, they regularly inform the public about the precautionary measures and the rules for the use of water.


Often the cause of deterioration in the smell of water is not the contaminants discussed above, but a water heater. Before continuing to study the problem, answer a few questions:

Boilers на кухне

If not properly used, the boiler may cause an unpleasant smell of water.

  1. Is your water supply system equipped with a valve that closes the water supply for the time of washing the heater?
  2. In what temperature mode does your boiler usually work?
  3. How often do you use hot water? Does it stagnate?
  4. When was the last time you changed the filter backfill?
  5. How often do you clean the water heater?
  6. Did you contact the relevant organizations to study the composition of the water?

The appearance of an unpleasant odor in the case of storage water heaters is often indicative of the fact that the process of reproduction and life activity of microorganisms has exceeded the permissible limits. Most often, such problems arise:

  1. Various kinds of malfunctions with a storage boiler.
  2. Poor quality of tap water.
  3. Poor condition of water pipes.

If water from a well is considered, then the deterioration of its odor is most often caused by coliform bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as various external influences. To solve this problem, chlorine lime is used most often. It is important to regularly monitor the state of water and carry out preventive measures.

The presence of hydrogen sulphide in water

At a high concentration of hydrogen sulphide, water gets a sharp putrefactive smell.

As already noted, quite often the appearance of an unpleasant smell of water results in an increase in its concentration of hydrogen sulphide. To confirm the presence of this substance in the liquid, you can perform the following simple testing. Open the tap for about 5 minutes, let the water run off. Take an empty plastic bottle, fill it with tap water and close the lid. Vigorously shake the bottle, open it and smell it. The presence of hydrogen sulphide is immediately felt, as already mentioned, its smell is similar to rotten eggs.

To the appearance of the smell of hydrogen sulfide, the active multiplication of bacteria sometimes leads directly to the boiler's capacity. Hydrogen sulphide is a part of waste products of such bacteria. Usually, the smell begins to be felt with prolonged stagnation of water in the heater. For prevention, the water in the boiler should be brought to a boil at least once a month. If the heater is constantly operating in the 30-40 ° C mode, the water will start to stink very quickly, especially if the boiler is already quite old and has not been cleaned for a long time.

The problem of an unpleasant smell is solved with the help of a special filter. But in most cases, all sorts of half-measures do not help. In such situations it is necessary to proceed as follows:

  1. First you need to drain all the water from the heater and the circulation system, and then let the system fill with clean water.
  2. The heater switches on at full power. It is better to leave the boiler in this mode at least for the night.
  3. The water again completely merges.
  4. The system is filled with clean water, after which the boiler can be used in the usual mode.

Usually it allows you to completely get rid of harmful microorganisms, because of which the water begins to smell unpleasant.


Process of aeration of water

Process of water aeration.

To get rid of an unpleasant odor, you can use several methods. For example, if an increased content of hydrogen sulphide results in the appearance of stench, the water must be passed through a pressureless degasser. Such aeration facilitates the rapid purification of the liquid from hydrogen sulphide. The disadvantage is the need to purchase a special aerator and a rather large amount of such equipment. Yes, and in an ordinary apartment, such equipment is not placed, since it involves the use of an additional pump. However, the method is perfect for owners of private wells and wells. In addition, water is saturated with oxygen, which makes it more useful for the human body.

To get rid of an unpleasant odor, you can resort to the help of chemistry. Ozone and hydrogen peroxide are commonly used. Additionally, water is passed through a special filter with a granular filler. Coal filters containing activated carbon can be used. The method is suitable mainly for cleaning well and well water.

In the apartment to remove the unpleasant odor, you can use special filters.

A large assortment is available for sale, so anyone can choose the option for their needs and budget.

However, it is recommended to order laboratory testing of water before its use and use for cooking.

Owners of the same storage tanks are encouraged to regularly monitor their condition. First of all, it is necessary to clean the anode of dirt deposits in a timely manner. They not only lead to a reduction in the life of equipment, but also make the water dirty and smelly.

Without proper maintenance, even the most expensive water heater fails. At best, it simply does not work the way it used to. At worst - pollution can lead to a significant deterioration in water quality, as a result of which it will become unsafe for human health.

Thus, when there is an unpleasant smell of water from the tap, it is recommended to just give it some time to drain. If the smell does not disappear, you should immediately appeal to the water canal. Experts will study the existing problem and take measures to eliminate it.

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