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Taste and odor

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Taste and odor

When we turn on our taps, we expect the water to be as pleasant and refreshing as it is healthy.
On rare occasion, however, your water may have an unusual taste, odor or appearance. Fortunately, aesthetic issues don’t always mean the water has become unsafe. A quick call to your water provider may reveal the cause of the issue.

A group of residents in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, recently encountered yellow-tinted water streaming from their taps, causing some residents to turn to bottled water. The City of Montreal identified aqueduct work in the area as the reason for the yellow-tinted water.

“A valve manipulation on the second network caused a staining of the water. We are currently flushing the problematic section of the six addresses mentioned, which should resolve the problem,” the city said.

There could be any of several reasons - some regional - causing unusual tastes or odors. The Washington State Department of Health offers this advice:

“If a taste or odor occurs at every water faucet on the property, the cause is probably the main water supply. If it occurs only in certain faucets, the problem is the fixtures or pipes supplying those specific faucets. If the problem goes away after running the water for a few minutes, the problem is somewhere in your household plumbing system. The best way to reduce taste and odor caused by your plumbing is to run the faucet for several minutes, put some water in a container, and then store it in the refrigerator. You may also consider installing a certified water filter.”

There are several other reasons drinking water could have an odd taste, odor or appearance. DrinkTap’s Taste and Odor page offers examples of common odd taste, odor or appearances of drinking water.

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