back to Blog

Why Does My Water Smell?

Water that has an odd odor can be unappealing to drink, and it can often leave you wondering if it is healthy to consume at all. In most cases, unusual smells are perfectly harmless, but on rare occasions, they can pose health problems. Identifying the cause of the odor is an important first step in determining the risks to your health and your available treatment options.
If you are concerned about the quality of your water, our team at Water Doctor can help. We offer complete water quality testing and treatment services throughout Maryland, and our experts can help improve the taste, smell, and quality of your water.

Contact us today to schedule a water analysis!

Common Odor Concerns in Household Tap Water

Whether you have a private well or a connection to your community’s water supply, contaminants in the water can and occasionally do cause unusual smells. Some of the most common odors in household water include the following.

Rotten Egg Smells

This is a common odor found in tap water. It is typically caused by hydrogen sulfide, which is harmless to your health and often found naturally in many water supplies, especially private wells. In other cases, sulfite-reducing bacteria may create an odor in the hot water specifically. Like the naturally occurring version, it is harmless. Typically, if the smell is noticeable from both hot and cold water taps, it is from the water supply; if it is from only the hot water, then a chlorination—along with an aluminum anode rod—may be needed.

In rare cases, a rotten egg smell can be caused by sewage contamination, which is more common in homes with private wells where the septic system has been installed too close. Have your water tested to be sure.

Fishy or Pond-Like Odors

If your water smells like an aquarium, a swamp, or a pond, it may be caused by algae blooms or other organic materials in your water supply, especially during the summer months. In some cases, the odor could be caused by barium, cadmium, or chloramine in the water supply, which can be potentially harmful at higher levels. If you are unsure of the cause, have the water tested.

Wet Dog Smells

These odors can be caused by anything from metals in your plumbing system to bacteria and other microorganisms in your water supply. If you smell an odor similar to a wet dog, it is a good idea to have your water tested to eliminate any health risks.

Bleach Smells

If your water is chlorinated, it may occasionally smell like bleach, as concentrations in the water vary over time. If the smell or taste is too strong, an active carbon filter can remove the taste and smell, while a reverse osmosis system can remove any remaining residues.

Water Testing & Treatment Services in Maryland

Whether you are concerned about the health implications of bacteria or chemicals in your water, or you would simply like to remove obnoxious odors, our team at Water Doctor can help. Our water testing services can identify any contaminants, and our numerous treatment options can help to correct them. We offer active charcoal filtration and reverse osmosis to tackle even stubborn odors, as well as chlorination systems, UV sterilization, and filtering systems to kill bacteria and remove contaminants.

To improve the quality of your water, contact Water Doctor today at 301-953-2846!

Proudly Serving The Following

Maryland Counties

Anne Arundel | Howard | Baltimore | Frederick | Montgomery | Carroll | Charles | Calvert | Queen Anne's | Harford

Anne Arundel | Howard | Baltimore | Frederick | Montgomery | Carroll | Charles | Calvert | Queen Anne's | Harford