Five Common Causes & How to Identify Them
Water Smells Like Rotten EggsIf your well water smells like rotten eggs, chances are it's due to the sulfur content in your water supply. Extreme levels of sulfur bacteria and Hydrogen Sulfide have taken a toll on your home's water, but we can narrow down the source a bit further. If you only smell eggs when using hot water, the source is most likely your water heater. If you notice the smell while using both hot and cold water, the Hydrogen Sulfide could be in your groundwater supply, well system, or water softener.
Water Smells Like Bleach or ChlorinePublic water suppliers have to use chemicals to prevent harmful bacterial growth before distributing water to the masses. Most likely, suppliers use shock chlorination to destroy common microbes like gram-negative bacteria, coliform bacteria, salmonella, legionella, staphylococcus, and plenty more. Essentially, a strong odor of chlorine or bleach in your water is a result of this shock-chlorination. To get rid of it, first try to run your water for a bit and see if the smell disappears. If not, contact your water supplier. If the smell is coming from a well, contact a local water quality expert to have someone test your supply.
Water Smells Earthy or MoldyEarthy, moldy, fishy, or grassy odors in your water are caused by bacteria present in your supply chain. Bacteria may be living in your well due to surface drainage, or in your drain pipes. If you have moldy-smelling public water, and the bacteria source is not your drain, your supplier most likely needs to use shock-chlorination to eliminate the algae, fungi, or bacteria causing the smell.
Water Smells Like GasolineThis odor is the most serious of the lot, and is most likely caused by dangerous agricultural runoff or discharge from landfills near your supplier's plant. If you have well water and notice a petroleum-like odor, it could even indicate a leaky fuel storage tank nearby. Stop drinking your water, and call a professional immediately. If your water is public, you should also contact the supplier and your county health department as soon as possible.
Water Smells Like Wet DogWe all love a freshly-bathed puppy, but most of us probably don't want to drink puppy-scented water. Common causes of water that smells like wet dog include:
- Metal in your pipes and drain
- Bacteria or other organisms in your pipes or drains
- Contaminated hot water pipe
If you've noticed any of the smells above, it's a good idea to touch base with a local water testing or water treatment professional. HomePro Match can pair you with a well water contractor in your area who is ready to help with any water issues.