Listed here are the sources of some of the bad water smells in our homes and offices. They include chemical smells, rotten egg smells, musty and moldy smells, and petroleum smells. We also include ideas about how to fix these problems and the role that Watersmart can play in assisting you. Contact us at Watersmart if you have problematic odors in your water.
Kitchener: 519-745-3170; Waterloo: 519.886.7331; Cambridge: 519.886.7331
Chemical, Medicinal, or Bleach-like Odors
Water itself is odorless. However, Canadian public water supplies are generally treated with chlorine, which emits a tell-tale odor.
This is done to prevent the buildup of bacteria in our water supply. Chlorine levels are regulated to fall within certain parameters. However, if chlorine levels seem exceptionally high it is best to talk to your local water provider.
If you use a private well and you experience chlorine-like smells, the problem may be the result of a shock chlorination of your water supply. This odor should go away if you run your taps for a few minutes. If it does not, it is best to call a professional plumber.
Sewage, Rotten Eggs, or Sulphur Odors
If you experience a rotten egg or other decaying-type smell, it is possible that you have an excess of bacterial activity taking place somewhere within your plumbing system. Various types of waste can attach to the drain over time, providing an environment in which bacteria can thrive. However, bacteria can also thrive in the water heater, or in well water.
Determine the source of the water by first filling a glass of water, first from the hot tap, then from the cold tap. If you cannot smell the odor from the glass of water, then the problem lies somewhere within your sewage system. If you can smell the odor from both the cold and hot water taps, the problem is with your water source. If you can smell it from the hot and not the cold water, then the problem is probably with your water heater. Contact a professional plumber to solve the problem.
Moldy or Musty Smells
Everyone wants to have the best water available. Nevertheless, at times we can encounter issues, which can include musty, moldy, or earthy smells. These can be traced back to one of two possible sources:
- Material decaying in the drain
- Polluted well water
Decaying debris can create moldy, musty, or other earthy types of smells in the water. This type of debris can also affect wells, creating a problem in the water supply to the house.
To ascertain whether the source is the drain or the well, try the following simple test. Fill a glass with tap water. Take the glass away from the drain so that you are not being influenced by a smell from anywhere but the glass.
Swirl the water around in the glass. If you still notice an unpleasant odor, the problem is in the water supply, not the drain. The problem can often be solved by shock chlorinating the well. Contact professional water experts if you are unsure what to do.
Fuel type Odors
There are numerous fuel type odors that can appear in your water that can include, for example, petroleum or turpentine. If you are experiencing this kind of odor, stop drinking the water immediately due to serious potential health hazards.
In this type of case, your water supply is being contaminated from an outside source that should be dealt with without delay. It may be the result of a leaking oil tank, contaminated ground, or leaks from nearby factories or industrial plants. It may also be the result of agricultural products. Seek professional help from your local water authorities.
Having access to a reliable water source is vital for Ontarians. At Watersmart we believe in ensuring that our customers have the best drinking water available, every time. Check out our products which include state of the art water softeners, reverse osmosis filters, and bottled water. Stop by one of our convenient locations and talk to our friendly, knowledgeable staff about your water requirements.
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