Smell-Related Issues

toddler drinking from fountain

Rotten-egg, musty or sewer smell is most commonly caused by bacteria growing in a sink drain or water heater.

These bacteria may be flourishing because:

  • Water faucets haven’t been turned on.
  • Hot water hasn’t been used or has been turned off for a while.
  • The water heater thermostat is set too low.

Sometimes this smell is most noticeable during the hot summer months.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Go to the sink where you believe the odor originates.
  • Fill a clean glass with cold water.
  • Step away from the sink and swirl and smell the water.
  • If there is no odor, the origin may be the sink’s drain or garbage disposal.

Here are some tips to eliminate the smell:

  1. Mix a ½ cup water and a ½ cup bleach. (Warning: if you have a septic tank, never use bleach; mix ½ cup water and ½ cup baking soda.)
  2. Pour down the drain, wait 20 minutes, and flush.
  3. Still have an odor? Take out the sink trap, remove any solids and replace.

Contact the Water Quality Customer Support Team at (520) 791-5945 or (520) 791-4133 should smell and odor issues persist.

Why does my water smell or taste like a swimming pool?

  • Tap water with a chlorine-like taste and smell may be caused by an elevated level of chlorine in the water.
  • Chlorine is the world’s number one water disinfectant.
  • While Tucson Water adheres to the EPA’s concentration guidelines, some people are sensitive to even average chlorine levels.

Troubleshooting Tip

You can easily get rid of water that smells and tastes like a swimming pool, medicine, or metallic. Place an open container of drinking water into the refrigerator. Overnight, the chlorine taste will naturally disappear.

You can also contact the Water Quality Customer Support Team and ask for a field test.