Last updated: February 2024

Water Quality FAQs: Taste and odour of water

Why does my water taste rancid or of rotten meat?

If your water has a rancid or rotten odour or taste, then it is important to determine the source of the supply. If it is fed from a storage cistern this should be inspected for any signs of any animals or birds having gained access.

Where evidence of animal or bird activity (access into the cistern) is found the storage cistern plus any associated pipework arrangements should be drained, cleaned and thoroughly disinfected.

If the supply is direct from the main, then contact the water undertaker immediately. They will be able to provide further help and advice.



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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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