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8 Indications That There is Something Wrong with Your Tap Water

Ordinarily, the tap water in your home runs clear, tastes fine, and exhibits no signs of a problem. However, there can also be indications that there is something amiss, and a number of identifiable factors through which you can tell if something is wrong with your tap water. 

We’ve compiled some of the biggest indicators that you should be looking into the issue below. Also, consider visiting this page to learn more about multi-stage water filters, which can help eliminate a significant amount of issues with tap water down the line.

Strange Taste

You’ve likely become accustomed to the usual taste of your tap water. If your taste buds are telling you something is off about it, they are usually right. The delicate sensors in your mouth act as protectors when it comes to keeping dangerous substances out of your system. 

If they detect a taste of anything oily, bitter, fishy, or metallic, you may have a problem with your tap water. If the problem persists you can invest in a quality faucet filter to remove bad-tasting chemicals or have it tested if you suspect something serious has contaminated your water supply.

Chlorine Odor

Chlorine is added to municipal water supplies to eliminate bacteria and other harmful contaminants. While it is usually not enough left in the water to be a health hazard, it may not taste very nice when the amount is heavier than usual. 

Since most water supply municipalities tend to use the same amount of chlorine consistently, you may want to install a water filter to correct the problem permanently.

Rotten Egg Smell

The presence of sulfur in your water gives off a smell that resembles rotten eggs. Sulfur is a mineral that occurs naturally and can leach into water systems. While it smells horrible, it isn’t hazardous to your health. 

Sulfur can occur in public water supplies, but it is most common in ground wells. An iron filter can remove the sulfur particles causing the odor before it enters your home.

Flat Bread

This may seem like an odd way to determine that there are problems with your tap water, but if your favorite bread recipe is turning out flat, your water could be the issue. The chlorine that is added to kill harmful contaminants can ruin the effects of the yeast that you use to make your bread. 

This is because chlorine kills the beneficial bacteria contained in the yeast. A simple faucet filter can remove the chlorine so that you aren’t left with bread that won’t rise properly.

Low Water Pressure

If you turn on your kitchen faucet to find yourself looking at a much weaker stream than usual, you may have some clogged pipes. This usually happens when pipes corrode and fill up with the sediment created from the deterioration. 

This isn’t something that happens overnight but has occurred gradually as your pipes continue to break down. The solution is to have your plumbing inspected and any corroded pipes replaced. In some instances, you might find yourself looking at replacing your entire plumbing system if it is old and has suffered substantial corrosion.

Cloudy Water

If your municipal water supplier doesn’t filter out naturally occurring substances from your water, it may contain harmless minerals that give it a cloudy or even foamy appearance. The presence of this should disappear after a while, but if it doesn’t, you may be looking at bacteria instead. 

You should have your water tested if you think it might contain bacteria or talk with your water supplier about the problem. An appropriate water filter can remove any harmful pollutants that may be tainting your water.

Brown Water

When sediment such as dirt, sand, clay, rust, and other particles get mixed into your water supply, they can turn your water brown or rust-colored. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about and will clear up on its own, but if it persists, it can be a sign of corrosion in your pipes. 

If you are seeing dirty-looking water coming only from your hot water tap, it may be a sign that you need to flush your water heater or have a plumber check it for corrosion in the tank. If you want to ensure that your water remains crisp, clear, and clean, you should have a water filter installed to remove any sediment that may be built up in your system.


If you live in an area that has hard water, such as Phoenix, it may contain a high percentage of dissolved calcium and magnesium that can cause spotting and leave scale deposits on your dishes and plumbing. 

Hard water can greatly reduce the lifespan of appliances like your boiler and water heater without a water softening system added to remove extra chemicals. 

Failure to address the problem can cost you in the long run in repairs and replacements for both dishes and appliances that will become damaged over time.

Homeowners who receive their water from a public waterworks system have the added benefit of being notified if there are any unsafe conditions with their water. 

Depending on the severity of the situation, you might be instructed to boil water before using it or drink only bottled water until the problem has been corrected. This is not usually a long-term problem that requires any additional measures to be taken.

For those who have private wells, it is up to them to ensure that the water they are getting from them is safe for use and consumption. It is a good idea to test your water routinely utilizing a home testing kit or through a reliable water testing company. 

If you have persistent problems, you should look into water filters or well adjustments that can reduce or eliminate the problem. 


If you see any signs that your water may be contaminated or unsafe for use, you should contact your water supplier to discuss the quality of your water. If your well tests at any unsafe levels, take immediate measures to correct the problem and switch to another source of water, if necessary. If you have no backup supply of water, you can boil water for use and drink bottled water.