Do You Have Water That Smells Fishy? Here's Why...


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Do You Have Water That Smells Fishy? Here’s Why…

Why does my water smell like fish?

The first thing when you think of water is the fresh, crisp and refreshing taste. What you don’t think of is the smell of fish. If you have this unwanted smell coming from your taps, it usually originates from a bigger issue hidden in the pipes or taps. This issue tends to be from a naturally occurring organic material that has gathered in your water source. If you do discover this smell it is important to get it inspected so your drinking water can be reverted back to how it should be. Often this scent does not mean there is a harmful contaminant, but it could be saying it is not as clean as it should be.

Why does this happen?

A fishy smell can get into the taps usually because of naturally occurring organic materials from the Earth. These materials could be Barium or Cadmium metals. As well as these earthy metals, the compound of chlorine and ammonia (Chloramine) can also cause the fishy smell. It is often used to disinfect public water sources, and a common reaction can be a fishy odour left in the water.

Barium is a metal that lives in mineral ores. This material can often find it’s way into pipes and wells, that then causes an unpleasant smell in the drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manages the amount of Barium found in public water to keep it less than the recommended level. The other metal that can also get into the pipes is Cadmium. This metal can often be found from industrial waste or fertiliser contamination.

If you’re detecting the fishy smell in the heat of summer, it will usually be from the algal blooms. Lakes tend to see an increase in the algae blooming on the water. This increase in algae appears when there is a lot of direct sunlight and warmth.

However, there is no need to panic! The presence of these particles does not bring a direct threat to your health. It is still advised to let your water company know about the issue and to get more information about it.

How can I get rid of the fishy smell in my water?

The smell originates from organic materials within your pipes or well. There really isn’t much you can do yourself. However, you can try to flush the pipes to get rid of any loose debris that could be causing the smell. The issue will most likely be more complicated and therefore you will most likely have to call your water provider.

If your drinking water smells fishy, don’t panic. All you have to do is get in contact with your local water supplier and they’ll restore your water back to normal!