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There’s something pleasant about a large cup of ice-cold water. When you sip it, you want the cool liquid to flow down your throat and leave a pleasantly chilling aftertaste. But what happens if you take a sip and it’s not the neutral, mineral-enriched taste you expect from your water? There are many common reasons why your water tastes weird that you should know about. Check out these reasons to learn what might cause your water to have an unpleasant taste.


Chlorination is a common water treatment that may leave water tasting like bleach or other harmful chemicals. Many places use chlorine as a disinfectant for residential water systems. While safe to drink at small levels, some people may be sensitive to chlorination. Test your water system so that chlorine levels remain below 4 mg/L. Otherwise, let your water sit out in an open container to have some of the chlorine evaporate for a fresher taste.

Well Water

There are important differences between municipal water and well water. Mainly, water quality varies based on the location and source, which may impact flavor. Municipal water treatment ensures safe widespread consumption. Well water is isolated, which may provide a significantly different flavor. For example, well water commonly has metallic or earthy tastes due to heavy metals and bacteria in the water supply.


Algae and bacteria are two common reasons why your water tastes weird. They contribute to earthy or musty tastes and smells. Algae are natural and help filter soil out from the water. However, organic contaminants add an earthy undertone that may put off some homeowners. Similarly, iron bacteria inside plumbing and pipes can leave water with a swampy taste. Invest in a high-quality water filtration system to avoid these issues.

Heavy Metals

Dissolved heavy metals also contribute to unpleasant tastes in your water. Iron, copper, or galvanized steel in pipes and plumbing systems gradually deteriorate and leave residue in the water supply. While ingesting some heavy metals won’t cause health problems, lead is extremely potent and will poison you. Consider a faucet filtration system that removes lead and other heavy metals to avoid this.