District News Articles

  2. Taste And / Or Odor


    It is very difficult to separate taste from odor because these two human senses are so closely related. Most occurrences of a peculiar taste or odor that you may experience can be grouped into one of the following two categories:


    ·       Chlorinous, bleachy

    ·       Fishy or earthy


    Two common causes for a chlorinous bleachy taste or odor in the water: the addition of chlorine to the water by Denver Water (the District’s water source provider), and the interaction of that chlorine with a build-up of organic material in your plumbing system. A chlorine odor is often an indicator that the disinfectant is effectively working to remove bacteria and debris in your pipes. Denver Water uses a relatively low dose of chlorine in its system; however, sensitivity to taste and odor varies greatly from person to person so while one person may notice a strong smell of chlorine another may not.


    Two common causes of fishy, earthy taste or odor in the water: certain types of organisms growing in Denver Water’s source water reservoirs, algae, fungi and bacteria excrete small amounts of chemicals into the water which can impart a taste and odor. The two most common chemicals are geosmin and methylisborneal (MIB). Although these chemicals have no documented health effects, most people can detect them in the water at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion. Denver Water works very hard to avoid having these compounds reach our customers and treats the water specifically to avoid this.


    Refrigerating the water can help eliminate the odor and adding a slice of lemon will remove any bitter taste.


    Odors that seem to emanate from your tap may be from the sink drain and not the water. The plumbing beneath your sink, typically the u-shape pipe, can collect debris over time and create an odor at your tap. If you smell an odor, fill a clean glass halfway with tap water and smell the water in a separate room or outdoors. If the odor is no longer present, the odor is likely from the plumbing beneath your sink. We recommend pouring vinegar or baking soda down your drain to help clear debris and odor.


    If you ever have any questions about your water, please contact Scott Hand, Platte Canyon Water and Sanitation District's operations supervisor, at 303-979-2333.