Tap Water Tastes Weird: What’s Wrong?

Have you ever taken a sip of water from the tap and found that it tastes weird? There’s no change in color but it still tastes unpleasant. Well, here are some reasons why it could be happening and why you need to consider a water filtration system for your home.

Why Does Water Have A Weird Taste?

Normally, water tastes and smells like nothing, so if there’s a weird taste or smell in the water, then it can be alarming.

There can be many things that can lead to the water tasting weird, but the main problem is how these things get into the water. There can be a handful of reasons as to why this occurs. Usually, water is supplied by huge bodies of water, called reservoirs, via pipes. Along the way, there can be many things that can get dissolved in the water and cause a weird taste and smell to linger.

Drinking this water is unpleasant both for the taste buds as well as the body, so here are some of the main culprits of smell, what they make the water taste like, and how it can be fixed.

It Has Bleach In It

If you take a sip of water and it tastes sharp, chlorinated, and bleachy, then there’s probably chlorine in the water. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant in water reservoirs and wells to kill bacteria and small quantities of chlorine don’t alter the taste of water.

However, sometimes, there can be an excess amount of chlorine in the water, that wasn’t removed, for whatever reason, and that can cause a weird and strong aftertaste. What’s the fix for this problem? Well, you can use activated carbon filters to get rid of chlorine in the water and it works wonders.

Has A Bitter After-Taste

A bitter taste in water can be because of two reasons. Either your water is highly alkaline or it has excess zinc in it. Usually, zinc can find its way into water through water pipes, while an excess of hydroxide ions can occur if there is the presence of sodium hydroxide in the water.

Reverse osmosis can fix this problem once and for all and the water will taste like normal again.

It Tastes Metallic

This taste is probably the most common one that people tend to experience in tap water. Your water might taste metallic or like blood. The main culprit in this situation is metal particles that not only impart this specific taste to water but also make the water slightly tinted in color. Iron, copper, manganese, and lead can be present in water and that’s because corroded pipes tend to chip away and metal particles can get mixed in the water.

The solution for this is to replace your pipes and get your water pH checked because corrosion occurs in the presence of acid. So, your water might be acidic causing the pipes to corrode prematurely.

Smell & Tastes Like Bad Eggs

The smell of bad eggs has a direct relation with water being infested by hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide needs to be removed from the water because it is poisonous and has no color, so it can cause a plethora of problems in the body.

Bacteria can also produce hydrogen sulfide as a byproduct and that can lead to a gross taste and smell, like rotten eggs or smelly socks. You can get rid of this taste by using an iron filter that oxidizes the gas into insoluble Sulphur and then it can be removed mechanically.

Super Salty Water?

Water has salt in it, but it shouldn’t feel like you’re drinking water that’s coming straight from the sea. The reason is the presence of salt ions, usually sodium chloride, in water. This can be an issue if you use a water softener for treating hard water.

Salt-based water softener systems Meadville use salt as an exchange medium to get rid of hardness-causing ions, hence making the water taste very salty. This can be fixed by either treating the water with reverse osmosis or deionization, in which the salt ions are removed and replaced with neutral ions.

Water Or Gasoline?

There might be a strong odor and taste of gasoline in the water. This is highly dangerous for your body, because consuming these heavy-chain hydrocarbons, especially through a medium like water, can cause stomach issues, nausea, dizziness, heart issues, cell abnormalities, and a whole list of other disorders.

But, how did these things get into the water anyway? Well, there is industrial discharge to blame. Even though there isn’t any direct presence of gasoline in industrial discharge and waste, when it penetrates the ground and mixes in with certain chemicals, it can produce hydrocarbons that can have the smell and taste of gasoline.

If you have a private well and the water coming from it tastes like gasoline, then it’s highly likely that it has been poisoned by industrial discharge. Whenever you experience this, stop drinking the water immediately and call in the suppliers, because this is something that needs to be investigated, otherwise things might take a turn for the worse.

Pungent Taste

Your water might be tart in taste too. The main cause of this taste alteration is tannins. Tannins are polyphenols that are naturally found in places where there is an abundance of water, a.k.a. water reservoirs.

They can also turn the water slightly brown or yellow. Tannins give the water a tangy aftertaste and it might be similar to the taste of fruits. The solution is to use ion exchangers and activated carbon filters, that remove tannins from the water and make it taste normal again.

Water Is Sweet

Everyone’s definition of “sweet” can be different and there are certain reasons as to why water could be tasting sweet. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium cause hardness in water and it can also alter it to taste sweet. You might want to get your water tested, if it’s borderline sweet, even though it’s not dangerous for human health.

If the levels of calcium and other metals are elevated, then you might need to invest in a water softener that can fix the problem. A water softener will get rid of almost all hardness-causing elements and it will bring the taste back to normal too.

Something’s Fishy

Your water can also have a deep, earthy, and, sometimes, fishy taste. This is not harmful, by any means, but drinking water that tastes like something out of a fish bowl is not the most pleasant experience. This can be due to the presence of organic matter or algae in the water.

Algae thrive in water and stagnant reservoirs, so it’s almost inevitable to have an infestation of algae. You can call your local water supplier to tell them about the issue. Usually, suppliers treat the water for algae, but maybe maintenance is overdue, which is causing the water to smell and taste like fish.


Now you’ve cracked the code as to why your tap water is weird in taste, and you’ve got ways to fix the issue as well. A good way to prevent water-related problems is to install a whole house water filtration Erie system for clean drinking water.

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