The Taste of Water
One of the most common reasons people give for not drinking water is that they don’t like the taste. Some people claim that water doesn’t have a taste, while others say different waters taste sweet, or bitter, earthy, or minerally. There are many factors that affect the taste of water, especially tap water. Bottled water is tested and controlled in order to maintain a certain taste profile. Tap water is much less controlled and can sometimes taste different each time you turn on the tap.
Common Factors Affecting the Taste of Water
Before we delve into reasons why your water might taste sweet, let’s look at some of the factors that affect the taste of water.
One of the biggest complaints that people have about tap water is that it smells like chlorine or chemicals. If your water has a distinct bleach-like smell, you most likely will be able to taste a bit of the chemicals as well. What you are smelling and tasting, in this case, are the disinfectants that are used to treat the water and make it safe for drinking. Low levels of chlorine in drinking water are considered safe as long as they don’t exceed 4 parts per million. It is not uncommon for safe drinking water to smell and taste a bit like chlorine.
Another common reason that water may have an off taste is from the from pipes which can leach minerals into the water. This will typically give water a noticeable metallic taste. Older pipes especially can release minerals like iron and copper into the water as it travels through plumbing systems. The taste is more noticeable depending on the age of the pipes and what they are made of.
Sometimes algae blooms are to blame for giving water a funky taste. Algae blooms have been in the news more frequently lately as they are causing the closure of public lakes and swimming areas. An algae blooms is a seasonal increase in algae that can impact water quality. The taste is often described as musty or earthy.
Finally, the source of your water can have an impact on how it tastes. Where your water comes from plays a large part in how it tastes. Many people can easily taste the difference between well water and city water. What they are tasting is the difference in minerals – well water is known to have a much higher mineral content than city water that has been processed.
So Why Does My Water Taste Sweet?
Now that we’ve talked about all of the factors that can have an impact on how your water tastes it’s time to take a look at what can make water taste sweet. There are many additional factors that can affect how water tastes. pH and alkalinity are two of those factors that are not as easy to pinpoint but can make a difference in the taste of your water. While water that tastes sweet may not be so bad, any imbalance in minerals, pH, or alkalinity can give your water and unwanted taste profile.
If you are concerned about a sweet aftertaste here are some of the common culprits:
- A high concentration of the minerals, calcium, and iron may lead to a sweet taste.
- Certain types of plumbing could cause a sweet taste. As the water travels through and sits in the pipes, materials can leach into the water affecting the taste.
- Sometimes the way your water tastes is due to your body’s own makeup. Some people have more sensitive taste receptors that allow them to taste particles in the water that others cannot.
- Alkalinity refers to the ability of water to neutralize acid. The alkalinity of a water source is impacted by the surrounding soil and bedrock. High alkalinity can cause water to taste bland, but some people describe it as having a sweet taste.
- The measure of pH in water is associated with its acidity. Water with a low pH is acidic and can taste bitter. Water with a high pH can have a taste like baking soda. Depending on where on the pH range you water is, the taste could be described as sweet.
- Taste can even be impacted by smell. People more easily detect variances in odors than they can in tastes. What we smell can trick our brains when it comes to how we perceive something tastes.
Know What’s in Your Water
As you can see, understanding what makes your water taste sweet can be very complex. The easiest way to determine what may be impacting the taste of your water is to test it. TestAssured makes a complete testing kit that allows you to test for ten different factors that could be impacting the taste of your water. Keep in mind that a change in how your water tastes could be an indication of a change in the quality and safety of your water. Just because your water tastes sweet, doesn’t mean it is safe to drink. Many harmful contaminants are odorless and tasteless.
I am very concerned because we buy our water and we don’t know where it comes from.