Last updated: February 2024

Water Quality FAQs: Taste and odour of water

Why does my water smell stagnant or like sewerage?

Sometimes a sewage or stagnant type smell can emanate from a sink or plug hole, especially if the water draining away is warm. This indicates a possible blockage or build-up of waste materials, making the drinking water appear as if it has an unpleasant smell. Filling a glass with water, taking it into a different room (away from the kitchen sink) and then smelling it, may help to determine whether the odour is genuinely from the water or not.

If the water still smells, please contact the water undertaker immediately.



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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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