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Why does my water taste like dirt?

Why does my water taste like dirt?

If your water tastes like dirt, it could result from environmental factors such as algae in the supply, or just a dirty faucet. Despite being annoying (it is somewhat off-putting to sip from a glass, only to discover it tastes like potting soil), water that tastes like dirt is rarely harmful.

Quick Facts

  • Water that tastes or smells like dirt can be common, although the cause is not always easy to detect. You may have to perform tests at home in order to discover the root of the problem.
  • An isolated faucet with dirty-tasting water can usually be fixed by unscrewing the cylinder at the end of the tap and cleaning it thoroughly before replacing it.
  • If all water sources in your house have the same unpleasant taste, then the problem may stem from your public supplier. Contact your local water company to alert them of the issue and have them fix it as soon as possible.
  • Environmental factors can cause poor tasting water. Geosmin, also called “algae bloom,” is prevalent in the summer months and grows on the surface of bodies of water, including lakes and reservoirs. Although not toxic, geosmin can cause an earthy taste if it makes its way into your drinking water.
  • Although likely harmless, water that tastes like dirt is not appealing. Try using a filtered water cooler to improve the taste of your water.

What causes my water to taste like dirt?

If your water tastes like dirt, it’s more than likely harmless, albeit annoying. Drinking water can sometimes have a dirt-like taste or grainy texture as a result of a geosmin invasion: a compound made up of soil and plant bacteria, or algae blooms. Geosmin is so potent that it only takes ten nanograms per litre for the human palate to detect a dirt-like taste. As for algae blooms, if you notice a soil-like taste around summertime, then you may have found the source of what has been affecting the taste of your water. When warm weather sets in, algae begin to multiply at the bottom of lakes, ponds, and other water sources.

Although harmless, both of these “all-too-natural” culprits make for foul-tasting water, so do yourself — and your taste buds — a favour. Get a filtered water dispenser to clean up your dirt problem and improve the overall quality of your office H20.

What should I do if my water tastes like dirt?

If you suspect bacteria in your pipes may be the cause of the problem, start by testing to see if every faucet in your house has the same dirt-like taste; or if it’s an isolated tap. Doing so may help you detect whether the fault lies with your entire plumbing system or a lone faucet.

If it’s a single source, chances are your aerator — the tiny cylinder screwed to the end of your faucet — may be dirty. To check for dirt in the aerator, unscrew it from the tap and try tasting the water again. If it still has a strange taste, you may have an accumulation of bacteria. To eliminate bacterial build-up from an aerator, unscrew it from the faucet and clean it thoroughly. Or, simply replace it with a new one. If any of the components of the aerator are stuck, try soaking them in vinegar.

If you’ve checked your taps and have found all of them are running dirty-tasting water, the cause is likely coming from the main supply of your water source. Contact your provider to request the root cause of the dirty water be identified. Enquiry numbers can be found on your water bill. If you are dissatisfied with an adequate explanation or dirty-tasting water runs after actions have taken place, you can contact the Consumer Council for Water. This is an independent body for the water industry in England and Wales.

However, if you use a private well, you will have to ask a specialist to inspect your well as it’s not unheard of for sediment to make its way into private water supplies.



Improving your drinking water quality

Although chlorine helps to keep our water free of bacteria, there are over 330 human-made contaminants in the UK water supply. As such, it’s vital to get your water tested, or find alternatives to tap water, if you suspect that your water quality poses a threat to your health — or if it has an off-putting taste or aroma.

You can use a filtered water cooler in the workplace to remove the majority of contaminants, including heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins, in order to keep your workforce healthy. While Waterlogic’s range of coolers means they are just as effective when used in warehouses, healthcare facilities, universities and hospitality venues. If you’re looking to deliver fresh, clean water to your workplace, take a look at our product line or request a quote for a water cooler.