Does your tap water taste like metal? This could be the feint taste of a chemical added to your water to make it safe or damaged metal pipework leaving remnants in the water.
Sometimes, people find their drinking water at home has a bitter, metallic flavour. You might expect tap water to taste neutral but in fact this is not the case.
Water comes in different flavours, and some of these flavours will be specific to water supply areas. When water has a bitter metallic taste or smell, there can be several reasons for this.
There are also things you can do to improve the flavour of your water if you find it does taste like metal.
What Makes Water Taste Metallic?
For tap water to be safe to drink, suppliers must add certain chemicals to it. These chemicals can include:
- Aluminium sulphate
- Calcium hydroxide
- Fluorosilicic acid
- Liquified chlorine
- Sodium silicofluoride.
In addition, tap water may also contain certain contaminants such as nitrates, hormones, pesticides and various metal salts. The water you drink in your home is not simply pure, because it will always contain some chemicals or microbes. Water supplies that have high chlorine levels may taste metallic because the chemical in the water reacts with the metal used in plumbing systems. This can leave tap water with a bitter taste.
Often, this taste of metal will be stronger in first thing in the morning and in the early evening, when most people will not have used their water supply for several hours at a time. Water also contains naturally occurring trace metals which can affect its flavour.
Can Domestic Plumbing Affect the Taste of Water?
Metallic tasting water is not always because of your mains supply. Sometimes domestic plumbing can give water a bitter taste of metal. Many homes in the UK have copper, iron or galvanised pipework. Some plumbing dates back to the Victorian era, and the older the pipes, the more likely there will be corroded ducts leaking metal into the water system.
However, if you live in a new house and your water tastes like metal, then this is most likely to be due to chemicals in the main water supply.
Is Metal Tasting Water Harmful?
Chlorine added to the water supply is not harmful, but some people are more sensitive to its taste and smell. Generally, if your water tastes metallic, your health is not at risk. But if you have older plumbing, including a lead supply pipe, then you could have toxic elements in your water supply.
Lead piping was used widely in British homes up until 1970. If your property was built or renovated before this time, then you could have lead pipework.
You can contact your local water supplier if you are unsure about the quality of your water supply to see what the results of local water testing are. Suppliers are required to regularly test their water by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
What Can I Do if My Water Tastes of Metal?
If the taste of metal in your water is only from one tap in the house, then it is worth checking how old the tap’s faucets are, since some washers can react with chlorine in the water supply. Sometimes simply changing the old washer for a new one made from a synthetic alternative will solve the problem.
If the metal taste of your water comes from more than one tap, try running your taps for a few minutes to flush the system. This should remove any stagnant water and improve the taste. If the metallic taste persists, then contact your local water supplier, or a trusted local plumber, for professional advice.
You can also do certain things yourself to remove the taste of metal in your drinking water:
- Boil your drinking water – this will remove most of the chlorine. Let it cool, then store your drinking water in a container in your fridge
- Use a water filter – this can be a point of source device, fitted to an individual tap, or something that filters the entire supply into your home.
Discover More About Water Treatment
Contact Aqua Cure today for more information about water treatment and how to prevent your water from tasting metallic and bitter.