Serving the families in Southern Nevada since 1983

6 Reasons Why Your Water Might Smell

woman holding her nose

Water is a beautifully refreshing, clear and odorless liquid that makes our lives easier and keeps us going from one day to the next. So when your water begins to develop a nasty scent like bleach or rotten eggs, this can be distressing. There are multiple reasons why your water might smell, but here are six of the most common reasons for smelly water.

1. Your Water Might Smell Because of Bacteria

A common smell for those who receive their water from a well is a fishy or musty odor. A buildup of bacteria around the source of your well water is the most likely culprit of this unappetizing smell. If you notice that your well water smells fishy or musty, you may need to perform a chlorine shock to rid your water of bacteria.

2. Chlorine Treatments

Whether you get your drinking water from a public water system or from a well, you may notice that your water occasionally smells like bleach. The chlorine treatment that your public waterworks company or the company that services your well water likely uses to get rid of harmful bacteria can cause your water to smell like bleach for a brief period of time.

This smell should only last for a few minutes, however, and it shouldn’t be overwhelmingly strong. If you do notice that the smell is not dissipating after a few minutes, you may need to contact your public water administration or groundworks-servicing company.

3. A Nearby Sewer System

Another common issue people who use well water experience is that a sewer system has been installed too close to the source of the well water. As you can imagine, this can cause a variety of unseemly odors to emanate from your water. The best course of action in this case is to call your local health department to see what can be done to rectify the issue.

4. Buildup in Your Drain Pipes

Over time, debris such as hair, food and grease builds up in your drain pipes. This debris encourages the growth of bacteria, which often causes your water to smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. If both of the sources for your cold and hot water are fine and do not smell, a buildup of bacteria in your drain pipes is the next most likely culprit for the smell. A drain cleaning professional will be able to flush out and disinfect your drains, which should return your water to its natural, odorless state.

5. Bacteria in Your Water Heater

Bacterial growth along the heating rod of your hot water heater can also cause your water to have a sulfuric odor. If your water smells like rotten eggs, try filling one glass with hot water and another with cold water. If only the glass with hot water smells like rotten eggs, it’s likely your hot water heater causing the smell. When the temperature of your hot water heater is not high enough, bacteria begins to grow on the rod.

This is most common in older water heaters that use magnesium rods, so keep this in mind when considering why your water might smell. A certified plumber should be able to come and replace your magnesium rod with an aluminum one to help prevent further issues.

6. Your Water Might Smell Because of Your Water Source

If you’ve checked your drain pipes and water heater and cannot figure out why your water might smell, it’s time to consider that the smell may be caused at the source. You’ll need to contact the appropriate professionals depending on whether you receive your water from a public water system or from a well.

Contact an Expert at EcoWater

The water diagnosis experts here at EcoWater proudly serve those in the Las Vegas, NV area, and we are happy to help in any way we can. Our professionals are qualified to test and diagnose why your water might smell. We’ll also recommend the best solution for you based on your issue. Contact us today for more information.