Why does my tap water smell or tasty musty or earthy?

Naturally-occurring organic compounds are created when plant material decays in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Those organic compounds frequently cause musty, earthy odors, especially toward the end of summer, when temperatures are at their highest and there is more exposure to sunlight. Algae is removed during the treatment process. However, some of their metabolites may be left behind.

The two most common metabolites are geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB). Even though these compounds are harmless, the human senses of taste and smell are extremely sensitive to them and can detect them in the water at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion. 

Although these compounds may impart an odor, they do not adversely affect the safety of your drinking water.

Show All Answers

1. Why does my tap water smell or tasty musty or earthy?
2. Why does my water smell or taste like chlorine?
3. Is there anything I can do to help with the taste or smell?
4. Where Does Robinson Get Their Water?
5. Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?