What To Do When Your Water Smells

What To Do When Your Water Smells

It’s bound to happen at some point: you’re washing some dishes or taking a shower when you suddenly smell something off-putting. When you search for the culprit, you quickly surmise that your water is responsible for that stinky stench. But what do you do when the water smells, especially when different smells can mean different things? To help you reclaim pure, clean water, North Florida Water Systems Inc. is offering these tips on different water smells and how you should handle each.

For expert testing and water treatment, contact the professionals at North Florida Water Systems Inc. Schedule an appointment today for quick and efficient water treatment services.

Rotten Eggs

We’ve all smelled that putrid rotten egg smell before, and if it’s coming from your water, sulfur bacteria is most likely to blame. Typically speaking, the rise of sulfur bacteria in your water supply is usually caused by a lack of oxygen. However, if you only smell rotten eggs when you’re running hot water, it could be caused by a water heater’s reaction and not the well. To kill off the bacteria, you will need to use an oxidant, such as chlorine or ozone injection, and then consider installing an aeration system in the water supply.

Musty Or Earthy

That musty or earthy smell is most likely caused by iron bacteria. While not harmful, it still imparts a bad taste in water, creates an unpleasant odor, and can leave a slime residue in toilet tanks or other water fixtures throughout the home. The best course is to install a chlorination system that works with a water-holding tank to get rid of the iron bacteria. This way, the water is held long enough to kill off the bacteria properly. You should also consider installing an automatic iron filter system.


Fishy-smelling or tasting water is usually caused by organic material getting into your water supply or by elevated levels of chloramines, barium, or cadmium. While none of these are particularly bad for your health, they can make drinking water or cleaning an unpleasant experience, especially at smaller levels. To remove the smell and taste, a reverse osmosis water filter or a carbon filter can help remove the responsible particles.

Bleach Or Chlorine

Water that tastes like a swimming pool is typical for residents with city water. That’s because the city uses a chlorination system as part of its water treatment. While not a health concern, if you’re like most people and prefer the taste of fresh, clean water over swimming pool water, you should invest in a reverse osmosis or water filtration system. Depending on your setup, we can install this at the tap or the water heater.

For more information about what’s in your water, contact North Florida Water Systems Inc. for water testing and treatment solutions.