Bad-smelling Tap Water? Here are the Culprits

Bad-smelling Tap Water? Here are the Culprits

In some instances, you may notice that your tap water exudes a certain smell. Sometimes, the odour is bearable. However, there are also circumstances wherein the smell is already a cause for alarm. This article lists down why your tap water may smell certain odours and what you can do about it.

Sulphur Bacteria

When sulphur bacteria have found their way into your water supply, your tap water may smell like rotten eggs. This can be attributed to the lack of oxygen source in the main water supply or the well where your tap water is coming from. On the other hand, according to professional plumbers and contractors, if the smell only occurs when you run hot water from your faucet or shower, then the smell can be caused by a chemical reaction in your water heater rather than from the main water supply.

Iron Bacteria

Another common reason why your tap water may smell is because of iron bacteria. In this case, the smell of your tap water can be likened to the smell of dirt or earth. While the iron bacteria may not lead to any harmful health issues, it can be quite a nuisance as the taste of your tap water will also be affected. In addition to the smell, you may even notice some slime in certain fixtures of your plumbing system.


If you are living in a large city, then you may notice your tap water smelling like the water of a swimming pool from time to time. This can be because of chlorine that is used to treat the water in huge treatment facilities before it is distributed to various households. If you are located somewhere near a power plant, then the levels of chlorine in your tap water may even be higher. While chlorine is necessary to disinfect the water that is coming out from your tap, it sometimes causes a pungent smell. In addition to this, chlorine can also dry your skin.

Final Word

The things listed above are only some of the most common causes of why your tap water may smell. Some odour can be more bearable than others but as soon as you smell something funny in your tap, make sure to get in touch with a professional plumber immediately. They are the ones who are in the best position to diagnose whether the smell should be a cause for alarm or nothing to worry about.


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