How To Combat Weird-Tasting Water

Modern society is blessed with generally safe drinking water, but that safe water often smells. Unfortunately, making water safe doesn't always entail making it tasty; water treatment plants are just concerned with getting rid of things that could actually make you physically sick, and not just aesthetically sick. So if you end up with bad-tasting water, here are a few ways to combat it. While some involve the flavor itself, others look past that and require some repairs.

Obviously, Add Some Flavor

If there is something in the water that you can't help, such as harmless algae that often forms in reservoirs in warmer weather, adding flavoring is going to be the easiest way to deal with that. As disgusting as algae in your water sounds, it's very common. The water should be treated before it enters your pipes so that it is safe -- the water treatment plants take care of that -- but that doesn't always get rid of the grassy or muddy taste that the algae can impart. Add some fresh lemon juice, make ice cubes full of orange juice or mint, and so on. Try brewing iced tea as well. Problems like these are often seasonal, so check with neighbors to see if they recall this happening before.

Check the Temperature

Cold and warm water can taste different, mainly because any molecules responsible for odors or tastes in the water will become more active as the water gets warmer. That holds even if the water is only at room temperature. If you're dealing with water that tastes kind of stale, but not necessarily grassy or sewagelike, try adding ice cubes. As simple as that sounds, sometimes that's all the water needs.

Remember What You Ate

Sometimes it's not the water -- it's you. If the water in your home tastes bad suddenly -- it had been fine, but you just got a glass from the tap and it tastes terrible -- try to remember what you just ate. Residual flavors from food can change the taste of water, and not always in a good way.

Repair Your Water Heater

Check the temperature on your water heater. If the water smells and tastes like sewage, you could have bacteria producing hydrogen sulfide in the water heater. It is possible that the bacteria could travel into colder water lines, too. If your water heater's thermostat is set to a normal temperature, have a repair person look at it because the heater might not actually be working well -- the thermostat could be broken.

You can combat bad-tasting water; you just need to know what's behind the taste. If you still have questions, contact a local plumbing company because they will be able to determine the cause, as well as tell you whether there are any algae-related issues in local reservoirs.