Do you find tap water hard to swallow? If you find yourself avoiding house water and reaching for bottled water instead, you are not alone. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. residents purchase around 15.7 billion gallons of bottled water each year. Not only can this habit add up in terms of expense, but it can also take a toll on the environment. Experts estimate that over 80% of plastic water bottles end up in landfills. Scientists believe that it can take a plastic bottle 1,000 years to decompose while leaking toxic chemicals along the way.
In addition, research shows that the drinking water in plastic bottles may contain microplastics or phthalates. These particles seep into water due to exposure to high temperatures or if the bottles have been sitting for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, this excess plastic can act as an endocrine disruptor and affect your hormonal system. Worst of all, many individuals purchase bottled water with the assumption that companies source it from natural springs or use the most advanced distillation methods. In reality, many companies simply filter municipal water and bottle it up for sale. For this reason, you are often much better off filtering your own tap water at home.
There are several viable ways to make house water taste better. A look at the most common causes of bad-tasting water and possible solutions can help you make the right decision for your home.
Causes of Poor-Tasting House Water
Before evaluating the ways to make your water taste better, it is important to understand why water can taste bad in the first place. The cause of poor-tasting water can help you determine the smartest solution for improving its taste. Common causes of bad-tasting water can include the following:
- Chlorine or chloramine disinfection
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Metals like iron, manganese, zinc, or copper
- Sediment or algae
Chlorine or chloramine disinfection causes water to have a chemical taste. This aftertaste is common because most municipal treatment facilities decontaminate water with chlorine gas to prevent microbiological outbreaks. Although chlorinated water is perfectly safe to drink, it can have an unappealing taste reminiscent of pool water. Hydrogen sulfide is another gas that causes water to have an unpleasant taste or smell. Also known as swamp gas, hydrogen sulfide can occur naturally in groundwater or well water. Hydrogen sulfide causes a rotten egg stench and aftertaste.
Metals like iron, manganese, zinc, or copper can give your water a bitter or metallic taste. Excessive metal content can produce a rusty color and may leave orange, green, or black stains on your faucets or fixtures. A high concentration of metals in water can also corrode pipes and plumbing over time. Similarly, water contaminated with sediment and algae can also have a bitter, dirty, or musty taste. Affected water can also have a dull or brownish tinge that never appears crystal clear in a water glass.
Install a Whole-Home Water Filtration System
Because there are numerous possible causes of poor-tasting water, the best way to fix this issue is to install a whole-home water filtration system. If the taste is bad enough, disguising it with ice or flavor is unlikely to correct the problem. The only way to ensure a consistently better taste is to incorporate a water filter system that can remove contaminants that cause the taste in the first place.
A licensed plumber can install several types of whole-house water filters depending on your needs. For example, an activated carbon filter can help remove a chlorine taste. Carbon absorbs compounds like chlorine, helping pull them out of the water so that your beverage tastes chemical-free. Similarly, kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) filters can remove a metallic taste from your water. These whole-home filters use the chemical processes of oxidation and reduction to draw trace metals out of the water. If your water is high in hydrogen sulfide, a technician may suggest installing an air-injection filtration system. This whole-house filter traps contaminants in sandstone so that your water will no longer taste like sewage or rotten eggs.
For all other foul tastes or odors, your certified technician might suggest installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Many commercially sold water products undergo reverse osmosis to remove metals and contaminants. Reverse osmosis works by pushing water through a semipermeable membrane. The pores in this membrane are small enough that only water molecules can pass through, leaving behind any other chemicals or dissolved solids. Because reverse osmosis can remove virtually all minerals from your water, some whole-home systems include a remineralization filter setting. With this setting, the system puts healthy minerals in your water at the end of the process so that your beverage has a fresh and natural taste.
Alkalize Your Water With Minerals
While a whole-home filtration system can provide a holistic solution for your household, there are other options to make your water taste better on a case-by-case basis. One such option is to alkalize the liquid using a water filter pitcher.
Alkaline water pitchers help increase the pH of water by slowly releasing minerals from a special filtration tablet. Usually made of calcium-ionized clay, this filtration tablet ion exchange process removes contaminants and replacea them with healthy minerals. First, water passes through a series of filters to remove particles and impurities. Next, hydrogen and oxygen from the water activate the tablet’s calcium ions and allow the pH of the water to rise. This makes the water more palatable for human consumption. A final remineralization step adds healthy electrolytes back into the water.
Filtered water pitchers are useful for private spaces like offices and bedrooms. They are also popular for ensuring tasty water during outdoor gatherings in picnics. You can simply fill the pitcher with water and wait for it to filter into the bottom chamber for consumption. Most brands recommend changing the filtration tablet every three months.
Infuse Your Water With Fresh Ingredients
If you prefer the pitcher method and would like to try a traditional way to improve the taste of house water, you can also try infusing water with fresh ingredients. This method does not necessarily remove chemicals or particles, but it can add minerals already present in fruits and vegetables. Many homeowners prefer infusion to the expense of buying flavored or mineral water. Some of the most popular infusion ingredients include the following:
- Lemon, lime, or other citrus
- Cucumber or honeydew
- Cinnamon sticks
You can either buy a fruit infuser or do it the old-fashioned way using mason jars. With its aesthetically pleasing appearance, infused water is also a great choice for entertaining and group gatherings.
Oxygenate Your Water
Oxygenation may help improve the taste of water by allowing some of the negative chemical properties to evaporate or dissipate as vapor. The most conventional method of oxygenating water is boiling it. To reduce the taste of chlorine, for example, you can try boiling water for at least 20 minutes before drinking. Another option is to purchase a water oxygenator. This appliance adds oxygen to house water through a process known as electrolysis. This quick electrical current helps destroy impurities while increasing the number of oxygen atoms, thereby improving the quality of your drink.
Contact Us Today
Poor-tasting house water is a common problem. While there are several options available, the most highly recommended solution is to install a whole-home water filtration system in your household. We offer a range of water filtration and water softening services for properties located in Sacramento and surrounding areas. You can also count on us for your AC, heating, and plumbing needs. Contact Huft Home Services to learn more.