Last updated: February 2024

Water Quality FAQs: Taste and odour of water

Why does my water smell/taste earthy or musty?

There are a number of organisms which can cause a musty/earthy taste or smell in water that can grow inside taps. These are generally harmless.

If you notice this smell or taste, try using a mild household disinfectant to wash outside and inside your tap then running it a little before you use it again to rinse out the disinfectant.

If you have done this but are still concerned contact your water undertaker.




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Uncontrolled if downloaded. This is informative, non-statutory guidance and intended for general guidance purposes only; it is subject to change.

Compliance with this information should not be relied upon as guaranteeing no enforcement action will be taken by water undertakers. Water Regs UK accepts no liability for loss, indirect or consequential loss arising from or in connection with this guidance document.

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