In its pristine state, water is colorless, tasteless and odorless. In fact, water that smells or tastes funny is the primary reason people turn to bottled water, which is expensive for you and harmful for the environment – millions of barrels of oil are used each year to produce and transport it and billions of plastic bottles are added to our landfills. So, if your water tastes or smells strange, you owe it to yourself to find out why.
The smell of chlorine is unappealing and can also dry out your skin and hair. While municipalities use chlorine to disinfect the water supply, it should be filtered out before you use it to eliminate these effects.
Many water supplies in the region are plagued by a rotten egg smell. This is hydrogen sulfide, which can be caused by the metabolism of a non-harmful bacteria called “sulfate reducing bacteria”. In this area we also have hydrogen sulfide gas that is caused by a natural chemical reaction in deep wells. The characteristics of these two types differ, but in both cases the resulting odor is certainly unpleasant. In some cases the odor is intermittent, building up while the water sits and flushing out with use. In other cases it is constant and can be quite overwhelming. In this region the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas is not a health issue, though it dramatically lessens the quality of life for the users of the water supply.
These types of complaints are generally the results of compounds released due to decayed vegetation and are typically associated with different forms of algae. They are most prevalent in supplies that use surface water as their supply. While rarely toxic, they are nonetheless unpleasant and can be offensive at a very low concentration.