Why Does My Water Smell and Taste Metallic?

A glass of water sits on a metal table.

So, your tap water smells metallic and tastes like it’s full of quarters, and you’re not sure what to do. All you know is you want the metallic taste gone.

We can help you with that! Read on to learn:

  • Why the water tastes or smells like metal
  • The potential health risks
  • And how to get rid of that awful taste and smell

Why Your Water Smells or Tastes Metallic

There are many potential reasons why your tap water tastes like metal. The most likely reason is your water contains either iron, manganese, copper, lead, zinc or other metallic minerals.

Iron frequently infiltrates well water and makes its presence known by giving the water a rusty appearance and leaving reddish-brown stains on the plumbing. However, iron and the other contaminants listed above can also get into city water either by natural means or via plumbing issues.

Many homes built in the early 1900s have lead or copper piping, which leave behind residue in the water as it flows through. The plumbing in newly built homes can also cause problems if it hasn’t had time to build up lime precipitate. Lime precipitate is the chalk-like layer that builds up to act as a buffer between the water and the pipe. It protects the pipes from corroding and the water from picking up zinc or other minerals as it flows through the pipes.

One other potential reason your water tastes like metal is it has a low pH level. As the pH level drops in water, it becomes more acidic and develops a sharper, more metallic taste.

The Potential Health Risks

Often the metallic taste isn’t harmful to human health. Usually, the taste will fade with time, along with the nuisance particles that cause it.

However, some minerals that cause a metallic taste can be harmful if frequently ingested. For example, drinking water contaminated by lead can cause anemia, hypertension and convulsions. And ingesting too much copper can lead to diarrhea, liver damage and kidney disease.

There are also health risks for drinking too much water with a low pH level, including corrosion of the teeth. Also, the more acidic water is, the more likely it is to contain harmful contaminants.

Chart listing the common sources of metallic taste and smell in water

How to Get Rid of the Metallic Taste and Smell

If the metallic smell or taste doesn’t go away on its own, it may be serious. We recommend getting your water tested at an EPA-certified testing site. This way, you can find out what contaminants you’re dealing with and respond accordingly. You can also test the pH level of your water to see if that may be the issue.

Your next step will likely be to invest in protective water treatment equipment. There are many water filters on the market that remove the minerals responsible for metal taste and smell. For example, reverse osmosis systems do an excellent job of filtering lead and iron. There are also ionized water filters that can raise water’s pH level.

Need More Assistance?

Hopefully, you have found this page helpful for taking care of your water problem. If you still need assistance, please give Angel Water a call at 847-382-7800. Our licensed experts can answer your questions and provide water testing and the water treatment equipment you need. We serve Barrington, IL, and the greater Chicagoland region.

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