Let's take a closer look at some other reasons why drinking water may be smelly be and what you should do.
Chlorine odors in drinking water:
While we can't cover all of the possibilities here, we can talk about some different odors and their causes. If your water smells
like chlorine, you're most likely on a municipal system and it is chlorine that you smell.
Chlorine is quite volatile and doesn't stick around in water - if you run water from a tap into a pitcher and let it sit, the
chlorine will dissipate pretty quickly. People who want to avoid chlorine in their water can install a treatment system
such as charcoal filtering to remove it.
If your home water smells like chlorine and you have a chlorinator installed for water disinfection, make sure the equipment is properly adjusted.
If you have just shocked your water well to try to sanitize the wellit is possible that you have not run enough water to flush out all of that chlorine (bleach).
See WELL CHLORINATION SHOCKING PROCEDURE.
If you have just followed the procedures
at SANITIZE the WATER SOFTENER it is possible that you have not run enough water to flush out all of that chlorine (bleach).
A musty, dank, or brackish odor in water is often
times attributed to chloride in your water, but it could also be 2-methyl-isoborneal (MIB).
A sweet, organic smell in water might indicate
m-xylene, and styrene in your water will make you think of model airplane glue.
A "greenish -chlorophyll-like" odor in water might be grass
in your well, but is probably an algae growth.
Soap or rubber odors in water:
Some things are just what they smell like, for example soap will smell like soap, and
rubber hose will smell like rubber hose!
Other sources of odors in water are discussed in our edited EPA article on water pollution:
see WATER POLLUTANT SOURCES for those details.
Before Buying Water Treatment Equipment
A water treatment company will often be willing to test your water and will recommend just what equipment you need.
Just be sure first that the odor source is a problem in your water source and not in the building piping or equipment.
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Scott Bradley, author. Scott Bradley is Laboratory Director for Aquacheck Laboratory, Inc. PO Box 87 05151 1-800-263-9596.
A more brief version of this article appeared in Aquacheck Laboratory's Water Wisdom Tips and Newsletter, Issue # 6, 2007. www.Aquacheck-VT.com offers other water supply tips in its Water Wisdom section.
The laboratory also provides water test kits and offers a free newsletter.
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