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Why Does Water Sometimes Taste Very Very Sweet Like Packed With Sugar After Throwing Up While We Know That Water Is Usually Tasteless
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The bad taste or smell of tap water affects you every day, whether you are cooking, brushing your teeth or drinking a glass of tap water. Identifying the cause of tap water problems is the first step in finding the right filtration solution. The taste and smell of water can help you figure out why it tastes bad. Here are 8 common tastes and smells in tap water to recognize and how to remove them.
Bitter tasting tap water is often the result of a high concentration of total dissolved solids (TDS). Water with a high TDS concentration is called hard water. Another reason for the bitter taste of water could be corrosion of old copper pipes in your house.
Municipal water treatment adds chlorine to disinfect the water supply. If the water has to travel a longer distance, additional chlorine is added to compensate. Although chlorine levels are not harmful, they can affect the taste of your tap water.
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Good water often has an earthy mineral taste. For municipal water, an earthy taste can be the result of untreated algae that are not removed during treatment. Water with algae remains is usually moldy.
Water that smells like gasoline or diesel has several sources, none of which are easy solutions. This could be infiltration into your water through a fuel tank or well-absorbed runoff from nearby driveways or parking lots. Due to the risk of hazardous chemicals in the water supply, it is always best to discontinue use immediately and have your water tested. You should also contact your local electric company to see if there has been a recent burst pipe that could be causing the smell and then consult with a licensed plumber.
High levels of dissolved metals such as iron, magnesium and zinc can give your tap water a distinct metallic taste. Although the presence of these metals is not harmful to your health, it can damage water pipes.
When you first turn off the water or use hot water, hydrogen sulfide smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. When combined with well water, hydrogen sulfide can increase the corrosion rate of your pipes.
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Water that tastes salty is probably caused by a high concentration of chloride ions. Although common in coastal areas, it can occur in other areas as well. Sulfates can also give tap water a salty taste. Sulfates are common in the soil and are absorbed into the water source as water flows through the soil. Rain and snow can also leach road salt into local reservoirs.
Sweet tasting water can be the result of some dissolved minerals that are not harmful to your health, such as calcium or iron. It can also be a sign of an imbalance in your water’s pH or alkalinity.
Solution: an alkaline ionization filter (not enough pH), a reverse osmosis system (too high pH) or a ceramic filter
Some water purification systems remove impurities that you cannot smell or taste. Microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses can move around your home and make you and your family sick without you knowing. UV disinfection purifies your water through direct exposure to UV rays, which kill microorganisms before they have a chance to make you sick.
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The smell can also be a bit vague. What you think is the smell of your water may be the smell of your drain pipe as the water flows through the faucet. Bad smells can also be caused by leaks, corroded pipes, bacteria in the water heater or a cracked well. Because of the complexity of these issues, it is often best to consult a water specialist.
In the meantime, the best way to understand the composition of tap water is to use a water test kit or laboratory water analysis. You can also find your municipal water analysis through the water report from your local water supplier.
The best way to improve the taste of tap water is to install a filter or purifier to remove the impurities that are likely responsible. Below you will find a brief description of our recommendations to facilitate your decision-making process.
An RO system filters water through a multi-step process to remove dissolved solids. One step is reverse osmosis, the process of removing total dissolved solids (TDS) by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane. The sediment filter removes dirt, dust and rust particles, while the carbon filter reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chlorine and other contaminants that give your water a bad taste or smell. RO systems are the most complete form of filtration to remove harmful minerals, but they also remove beneficial minerals such as calcium or magnesium.
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Read more: What is a reverse osmosis system and how does it work? | How to choose the best reverse osmosis system
Activated carbon filters use carbon that has been “activated” to have a large surface area. Small pores along the surface allow for chemical absorption as your water passes over a bed of activated carbon. These filters remove large contaminants such as chlorine, but are not designed to remove minerals such as heavy metals, minerals and sulfates or smaller microorganisms.
These filters work by filtering water through a hard ceramic casing with small holes that make it difficult for impurities to pass through. Some ceramic filters have activated carbon inside to perform a two-stage filtration process. These systems are good at removing dirt and bacteria, which makes them good for that dirt or fishy taste, but they are usually not good at removing viruses that are too small for ceramic or carbon pores.
This filter uses electrolytes to separate acidic and alkaline components. By adding minerals to the water, the pH increases. For some, the mineral taste can make the water worse. These filters adjust the pH or your water and help the water taste sweet if pH is the cause. Alkaline ionization filters work best in addition to other filters.
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Ultrafiltration systems pass water through a hollow fiber membrane that acts as a filter for microorganisms. It removes certain viruses and bacterial parasites while retaining the potentially beneficial minerals that the reverse osmosis system removes.
UV systems use ultraviolet light to inactivate bacteria and viruses in your water supply, but are not intended to remove anything else. Therefore, UV treatment is often used in addition to other filtration systems. UV can be ideal for homes with good water, but also for city dwellers under a boil water advice (BWA).
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