From time to time, you may notice an odor coming from your home’s water. Water odors can be indicative of certain conditions, but are not always a cause for concern. Indiana American Water wants all customers to be confident in their water quality – we’ve detailed some common water odors below and what they may mean for your household.
Common Water Odors and Causes
When water sits in piping or an appliance for a long period, you may smell, or even taste, mustiness in the water. This water is safe to consume, but if the odor bothers you, flush your taps to clear the “stale” water from the lines.
Algae outbreaks or certain weather conditions can also contribute to an earthy or musty taste in water systems using surface water sources. When this occurs, the water experts at Indiana American Water adjust the treatment process to treat such odors.
Rotten Eggs or Sulfur Smell
Water held in a poorly maintained hot water heater can grow sulfur bacteria and begin to smell like rotten eggs. Water can often obtain a rotten egg smell when the hot water tank has not been flushed regularly. It is likely you’ll only notice the smell in hot water, rather than in cold water. Flush your hot water tank per the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the holding tank and remove the odor.
Often, drain smells can give the impression of your home’s water smelling foul. If you think you smell sewage or other foul odors in your water, fill up a glass and move away from drains. Smell the water to see if you notice the odor – if not, you could have a plumbing issue in your home that needs to be remedied. If your water still has a sewage smell, do not consume it and contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-492-8373.
Indiana American Water uses chlorine instead of chloramines during a period when water mains are flushed, which is an annual maintenance procedure. Although the water during these periods is safe to drink, you can refrigerant the water overnight in an uncovered glass container to allow chlorine to dissolve, or you can boil the tap water for five minutes.
Water Treatment Devices
Water filtration devices can also lead to odor or taste issues if they are not properly maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Contact Us for More Information about Causes of Water Odors
The safety and quality of your family’s drinking water is the center of everything we do at Indiana American Water. Aside from working with the USEPA and state authorities to ensure water meets federal and state standards, our research goes above and beyond to help the USEPA develop regulations and standards.
Indiana American Water is committed to delivering quality water to every Hoosier home we serve. If you have concerns about a water odor, please don’t hesitate to contact us. To learn more about potential causes of unusual tastes and odors in your tap water, visit us online.