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Should I be worried about smelly or coloured water?

The World Health Organization (WHO) once reported that 3.4 million people die as a result of water-borne diseases. Isn’t that a devastating number?

Water-borne diseases are one of the leading causes of death and diseases around the world.

Whatever we use water for, the most important thing is its cleanliness as we use it every day of our lives.

You might take clean water for granted, especially since we live in one of the cleanest cities in Australia.

But for our health and safety, it’s best to know what happens when the water that comes out of your tap has an undesirable smell or an awful taste.  We’ve talked about cloudy tap water and grey water before, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. What happens when there’s a pungent smell or a weird colour to your tap water?  Read on and find out!


Eugh: why does my tap water smell?

Whenever we pass by a sewer system and get a whiff of that unique rotten smell, instinct tells us to immediately cover our noses. But what happens when the water that comes out of your faucet smells almost as bad?

Gas and bacteria

The unpleasant odour that you smell is caused by gases that are produced by bacteria. The bacteria in food and other waste matters in your drain emit gases. You can usually smell this once you turn the water on.

Hot water system

Your hot water system can also be another cause of that sewer-like stench. There might be bacteria in your water heating system resulting in a bad smell.

Do you know how old your hot water system is? Do you know if it’s performing to its optimum? Is it faulty or starting to show its age? You might like to get your system checked.

It’s important that you find out where the source of the bad smell is coming from as soon as you can. If left unattended, the smell may intensify, resulting in an all-around unpleasant living situation. A professional plumber can assess the situation and solve the problem.


Why does my tap water taste salty?

Chloride ion

If you’re wondering how this came to be, it’s most likely that there’s chloride ion in your water.

Industrial waste might have contaminated your water supply, causing the salty taste.


Another cause of salty water are sulphates.

Due to elements like rain (and outside of Melbourne, snow) sulphate compounds might make their way into your water supply. While ingestion in low number generally does not pose any health risks, sulphates can damage your pipes and other parts of your plumbing system.

An issue that extends beyond your property – like to others in the neighbourhood – must usually be addressed and resolved by your water supplier; it’s unlikely the problem lies within your home’s plumbing system.


Tap water tasting like dirt?

Have you ever turned on a tap or taken a sip of water to discover it smells or tastes like dirt?

The smell or taste of dirt in water is actually quite common.  One common cause is geosmin or “algae blooms” which is caused by a type of bacteria.  The bacteria releases geosmin into the local water supply. Once this happens, your water will have that “earthy” taste.

This normally extends into a water supply issue like the other two above, however, what if the problem is isolated to your property?

The easiest way to test this is to head to various taps throughout the house to see if this dirt-like taste is isolated to just one tap or prevalent in multiple. If the former, it’s likely the issue lies within a single plumbing fixture or line within your home’s system.

Water that tastes like dirt could be a result of:

  • A dirty aerator
  • Bacteria in your plumbing system
  • Sediment (common in old homes with clay or galvanised pipes)

Your first point of contact must be a local plumber who can come out and inspect the issue and determine the cause. The reasons outlined above differ in their severity, as an aerator can be easily replaced, however, old pipes may require relining or replacement; a much larger job.


Why is my tap water brown?

Seeing brown water run out of your tap into a glass is enough to turn anyone off.


The brown colour in the water may be caused by corrosion: as your pipes age, the metals wear away. They then could make their way into your system and contaminate your water.

While brown water doesn’t normally pose any health risks, people should refrain from drinking it. And in the event that other households in your area are experiencing the same thing, perhaps the problem lie in the water source that distributes water to the neighbourhood. If that’s the case, you need to contact your water supplier.

In the case where the issue is isolated to your property only, your best bet is to call a local emergency plumber near you. We’ll help you investigate, evaluate, and most importantly, solve the problem.


Here comes Watermaster Plumbing

As mentioned before, clean water is very important in our lives.  If you think that there is any irregularity in the water that comes out of your tap, avoid drinking it and head straight to the experts for a proper diagnosis.

Located in Melbourne’s Bayside? From St Kilda to Frankston, we’ve got you covered. Call our emergency plumbers 24/7 for all your plumbing needs.

2023-01-10T12:28:25+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Blog|