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Earthy or musty tastes and smells

Sometimes you may get an earthy or musty taste or smell to your water.

An earthy, musty taste or smell can be caused by the growth of naturally-occurring, harmless bacteria and fungi in domestic pipework that isn’t used very often or is close to pipes containing hot water.

Valves, washers and fittings made of rubber are common places to find these growths.

To combat this problem you should:

  • make sure all washers, hoses and fittings are Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) approved
  • lag any cold water pipes that are close to hot water pipes, to prevent heat transfer.

We often find that installing a non-return value on your washing machine or dishwater can also solve this. Contact our customer care team to request a non-return valve and we’ll send one out to you for free.

If the water at the property has been unused for a long period, make sure you run taps for a few minutes before you begin using the water again. This will help to make sure any standing water has been flushed through the system and only freshly supplied water is in your pipes.

Select from the icons below and find out more about why your water may taste or smell unusual and what you can do:

What to do if your water looks unusual.

How we look after your water quality.

Advice on your water hardness, fluoride and pets.