Source of Bad Tasting Water: Water can taste bad for many different reasons.
Total dissolved solids (TDS) and the presence of metals such as iron, copper, manganese, or zinc can cause a metallic taste. Fluoride may also cause a distinct bad water taste. Chlorine and chloramines, used by water treatment plants, will often give water a strong musty or "bleachy" smell. Those who live near the ocean may encounter a salty taste, even when using municipal water. Groundwater contaminants, disinfectant by-products at the water treatment plant, or even leaching plumbing within the home may contribute to a bad taste or odor. If water from the refrigerator dispenser tastes bad, it is probably time to replace your refrigerator water filter.
Symptoms of Bad Tasting Water: Because there can be different causes for poor water taste, there can also be different health effects and symptoms as well. To discover whether the source is relatively harmless or is a serious, potentially hazardous contaminant, it is best to have your water tested.
Solutions for Bad Tasting Water: Since bad tasting water can be caused by different contaminants, there can also be several different solutions. Taste and odor can often be removed by using activated carbon filter absorption. Aeration can be utilized if the contaminant is in the form of a gas, such as hydrogen sulfide (H₂S). Most refrigerator filters have activated carbon and can be quite effective. However, if salt intrusion is the cause for your bad tasting water, only reverse osmosis or distillation systems will be effective.