why does my water smell

When you turn on your tap and fill your glass you usually expect to have clear, fresh, and drinkable water coming out. Far too often we hear from customers who experience issues with water that has an odor – it’s more common that you might think! There are several causes associated with “stinky” water, but usually the correction is the same.

Causes of Water Odor


Your water smells like chlorine. If you have a pool you may recognize the strong, chemical smell. Chlorine is commonly used to disinfect water but it can be overpowering to smell, especially if it is something that you’re not used to.

Iron Bacteria

Occasionally iron bacteria can grow inside of your well, which is the source of your drinking water. Iron bacteria are actually small organisms which live in the soil. Because they are there, they have access to groundwater that feeds into your well. They combine iron and oxygen to form rust deposits and a slimy byproduct that sticks to well pipes, pumps, and fixtures. This can all cause a swampy or algae taste to your drinking water.

Hydrogen Sulfide

This gas is produced by decomposing organic material that becomes trapped under the ground where water passes through on its way to the well. This gas can travel with water and produces a rotten egg smell.


The solution for smelly water is almost always a reverse osmosis carbon filtration system or oxidation filter. Water treatment and conditioning systems address water quality. There are a variety of systems that address different issues and which are right for your home and your water needs.

It is important to have your water tested before making any important decisions. We always test your water before making recommendations because it is important to us to understand what is wrong with your water so that we can best resolve the issue. We do this to ensure the problem is fixed the first time and so that your water is safe to drink. We care about our customers and their families and want the best water solutions possible for them. Contact us today to schedule a free water test in Carroll County, Maryland.