There are numerous chemicals and other materials that contribute to the bad taste of drinking water. Depending on your source water there are up to 20,000 different contaminants that affect the quality of your water. As well, our unique taste sensitivities affect the degree to which we experience poor tasting water. The most common bad taste culprits are highlighted below.
Chlorine: Chlorine is the most common contributor to bad tasting water. This disinfectant is a necessary component to providing bacteria and virus free water to large municipalities. However, the side effect is water that tastes like you are drinking chemical household cleaner. And in short, you are. Chlorine was not meant to be ingested. With the influx of chemicals in our air and in our water, knowingly drinking chlorine is harmful to our cells at the molecular lever. Chlorine is designed to kill organic materials. Humans are organic beings at our most cellular core. They foul taste is the bodies first method of defense against ingesting poison. Trust your body.
Heavy Metals: Iron, manganese, zinc, lead and copper are the most common metals that produce a metallic taste when consumed. These trace metals are naturally occurring in the ground water and can also be the results of older rusty pipes in the city water distribution network or within your home. Metallic taste can also be the result of a low pH level of your water. Lower pH levels can produce a sour, acid like taste which often resembles metal. A pH level of 7 is considered neutral. Any level below 7 will have a more metallic, acidic taste. Determining the cause of the metal taste is critical to protect your health. Typically iron, zinc and copper have no ill health effects unless they are present in very high levels. Lead, however is toxic and should not be consumed and any levels. It is recommended to have your water tested if you are experiencing a metallic taste.
SALT : Salt (NaCl) is a natural mineral made up of two elements, sodium and chloride. The salty taste is caused by a high concentration of chlorides in your water. Chlorides can be naturally occurring in ground water and must be attached to a ion, such as sodium in order to become stable. They may also be due to industrial or irrigation drainage, or rain and snow run off from road salt. Road salt is carried by the rain and snow melt down into water aquifers or holding reservoirs. Another cause of salty tasting water is from a high concentration of sulphate in the water such as magnesium sulphate and sodium sulphate. Sulphate are mostly naturally occurring in soil and rocks however they may also make your way into your water supply as a result of industrial waste. Ingesting high levels of sulphate on a regular basis could produce a laxative effect.