Strange Smells in Tap Water


My tap water stinks again.

A few months ago, we did a blog article on why your home might smell like a sewer. So, it’s a little surprising that the water which comes out of your tap can also have a faint odor, especially in the fall months.  Today, we’re going to explain why your tap water may have an unpleasant scent and what you can do to about it. 

While the tap water in our Valley which arrives in your kitchen is potable, it may have an off taste or strange odor. Water services uses chlorine to make the water safe, and the smell can be detectable at times.

Or, you may get a whiff of algae.

Why algae?

The process of transporting water over vast distances before it reaches your tap is an arduous one. Sometimes, especially during the end of a hot summer, algae presents itself in canals. The odor permeates the water, so even the city filtration systems, while they can make the water clean, don’t always get the smell of algae out.  The City of Phoenix water service web page likens the odor to ‘like a bouquet of roses,' which will leave a scent in the room even when the flowers have been removed. While algae don’t smell the same as a bouquet of roses, we certainly appreciate the analogy as a means of deflecting public perception of the stinky water.

What can I do?

Don't forget to change the filters! 

Don't forget to change the filters! 

The city recommends adding a little lemon to your drinking water, or pouring it into a container to allow it to ‘breathe’ for about a half an hour, like a fine wine. These methods are perfectly acceptable, and we will leave it to our readers to try them or not as they choose.

Another option is to use a filter, either a filter on your sink tap, beneath the sink, a filtered pitcher for the refrigerator, a personal bottle filter, or even a whole-house system. The one caveat is that the cartridges on any filtration system need to be changed according to the unit’s directions.

In spite of the odor at certain times of the year, the people at water services work hard to provide safe drinking water for their customers. They have meticulous standards and test for a considerable number of unsafe materials on a frequent basis. Still, a little common sense is in order. If the water from the tap has particulates, or if your water is shut off for a line repair, you may want to avoid drinking it for a bit. Also, if your hot water emerges with an orange tint, give us a call. Your water heater may be failing!

If you need a Phoenix, Arizona plumber to install a whole-house filtration system, a water heater,  or some other plumbing issue, call Jimmy at 480-757-1273.