It's hard to get an accurate, realistic idea of how good water should taste. Even if you were to go by some whimsical standard like artisanal well water, stone-filtered water from mountainous springs, or the most secure and well-tested purification plants in the world, the water will taste different from different sources. There are helpful and harmful minerals that can affect the taste, as well as substances that do nothing but change the taste. Here are a few water taste issues and their solutions to help you reduce bad tastes and identify when a real, harmful issue is happening.

Swampy Water Tastes

Do you live in a swampy area, or is there a creek, railroad trestle, or river nearby that doesn't have much water movement? A lack of water movement--even without becoming truly stagnant--can lead to some taste issues that can get through water treatment systems.

Rotting vegetation from swampy areas leaves behind bacteria that is mostly harmful to humans when water is filtered to the point of being clear. With basic treatment facility filtration using at least a 1000 ppm solution, substances such as iron bacteria can be broken down and made mostly dormant.

The taste is still there, and isn't great, but it won't cause health issues. Still, the presence of the bacteria can be off-putting if not gag-inducing, and your best bet is to have a charcoal filter system somewhere in your home.

If your home has leaking pipes or pipes that haven't been cleaned in a few years, the change in water flow can lead to bacteria buildup that can provide the bad flavor for months--and by the time the flavor clears out, a hurricane or flood could bring in a new supply of swampy water.

Fresh Dirt Or Soil Taste

Although dirt is a general term to mean multiple types of soil and sediment material, rich soil has a taste that farmers and hunters across the world can appreciate. Unless you're drinking from a recently-dug well, you shouldn't be tasting it.

When dealing with drinking water in the homes, geosmin is the usual cause of earthy water flavors. Geosmin is a type of algae bloom, and can grow in bodies of water that lack proper aeration. This is usually a problem for deep inland lakes (such as in landlocked states in the US), but some water treatment plants can suffer algae bloom issues during the summer.

It's a mostly harmless issue, and actually adds to the flavor in some mineral water or spring water brands. It's highly noticeable in small supplies of even 10 nanograms be liter, but excessive amounts of geosmin can be strong enough to cause a gag reflex.

Just like swampy water issues, filtering is the main fix. Unfortunately, geosmin's strong flavor for its size will require a multi-part filtration process to properly remove. 

A water system repair professional can install a system designed to handle your area's most common water problems, and can even repair your pipes if the buildup problem is limited toy our home. Contact a repair professional today and talk about what you've noticed in your water supply.