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Why Does My Filtered Water Taste Funny: 6 Possible Reasons (2024)

Why Does My Filtered Water Taste Funny

If you have been asking lately: Why does my filtered water taste funny or weird, you are in the right place.

There could be many reasons to explain the weird taste of your filtered water.

  • Bacteria and microbes might have contaminated your water source + (Poor filtration)
  • the Resin bed of your water softener might need cleaning
  • Your filter may be too old to function correctly
  • Your water may have metallic impurities, causing that metal taste in drinking water. 

In this guide, I’ll dive deep into all the reasons and offer practical solutions to deal with this weird water taste crisis. Let’s begin: 

Why Does My Filtered Water Taste Funny: Table of Reasons

ReasonHow common is itEffect On waterSolution
Bad SourceCommonCause earthy, fishy taste and smell of waterChange of filter membranes
Ineffective FilterVery commonAdded bacterial impurities, dissolved solids, and dirt in the waterFlushing of filters
Algae in WaterLess commonCausing rotten egg smell and moldy taste of waterReplace filter cartridges
Metal ImpuritiesVery commonCause metallic taste of waterCheck if the RO filter membrane needs a replacement
Plastic Bottled WaterCommonCauses microbial contamination and foul smell of waterAvoid storing filtered water in plastic bottles for a long time
Taste PerceptionLess CommonNo effect on waterGive yourself time to get used to the water taste
Also Read: 5 Top Waterdrop Filters In 2024

Can Bad Tasting Filtered Water Make You Sick?

Is Bad Water Harmful?

This question becomes more critical given the cost you incur in purchasing and installing a filtration system.

After spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on water filtration, we would expect our water to have a satisfying taste and be rich in minerals.

Also, the water goes through extensive treatment before being supplied to homes as clean water. 

Different weird water tastes include a metallic taste or rotten egg smell, which can easily worry us as we assume that poor water taste is bad for our health. 

CDC says that any change in water’s taste color or smell may not necessarily be a major health concern. But this affirmation shouldn’t make us complacent.

I have listed six common reasons why your water tastes funny or weird, along with practical solutions for each.

Pick the one you think describes your situation well and go through with the solution to make your water taste good again. 

Also Read: 3 Easy Methods To Reduce TDS In Drinking Water

Here’s Why Your Filtered Water Has A Weird Taste:

Why your filtered water has weird taste

Bad Water Supply

Your tap water supply source may be the problem behind the bad-tasting water.

If your tap water lines are contaminated with bacteria, it may release hydrogen sulfide into your water, which can cause a rotten egg-like smell in the water

Freshwater coming from the tap could also be contaminated with other organic compounds and dirt, deteriorating water quality and taste.

The presence of such contaminants in source water can be easily identified by the physical attributes of water, like funny taste and smell.

Water contaminated with organic impurities will smell like earthly mold.

There’s a way you can check if the water contamination is from the source or the sink. Take a small glass of water and swirl it around.

The problem lies with the water source if the smell stays even after swirling.

But if the smell disappears after swirling, the problem is probably with the water sink. You may also contact your water supplier to properly check your water supply.


You could resolve these tap water problems by using appropriate carbon filters. These will eliminate all the bacterial and other organic impurities from the water, help with odor reduction, make water safe to drink, and give it a good taste. 

Ineffective Filter

A common reason behind bad-tasting filter water is the filter itself.

Over time, with usage, filters start to become ineffective. Their filtering elements wear off. Dirt and impurities start to accumulate in the filter.

This causes the filter to function less effectively, causing bad quality purified water with a weird taste. The impurities in the filter also leak into the water and cause unfiltered water and water contamination.

Long periods of inactivity can depreciate your water filters. Also, certain bacteria and molds may start to grow because of inactivity.

When such filters are used again, they cause water contamination.


To ensure good quality filtered water, flush and rinse filters regularly to remove all kinds of dirt or bacterial impurities that may have accumulated on the surface of the filters.

Also, replace filters regularly, as they have a certain lifespan after which they stop working. Usually, it would be best to change filters every six months or as required, depending upon usage and the type. 

Also Read: 9 Practical RO Alternatives  

Why Does My Filtered Water Taste Like Chlorine: Algae In Water

Algae In Water

Stagnant water or filters unused for a long time are a source of algae and bacterial contamination. If your water filter has not been used for a long time, it may have developed algae and bacteria.

Such algae and bacteria can produce unwanted chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, etc., causing undesirable tastes in water like metallic or swampy tasting water.

Such activity may give water a weird taste and smell like rotten eggs, making water unfit for consumption.

Algal bloom at the water source may cause water to develop an earthy, moldy, musty, dirty, or fishy taste. Usually, water is treated at the municipal level before being supplied to homes.

So the chance of algal contamination in the municipal water supply is less. However, there is a chance that the taste due to the contamination at the source may linger longer, even after algae removal. 

Apart from the source, there could also be bacterial contamination at the sink, affecting the water quality and taste.  


To resolve these issues, you are advised to use filters and purifiers that help remove algae contamination.

Filtered Water Tastes Metallic

The taste of water may also be affected by heavy metal impurities in it. Some common dissolved metal impurities include zinc, magnesium, iron and copper.

Such impurities may have harmful effects on a person’s health.

Excess copper in water causes health problems like nausea, severe headaches etc. This impurity may have come from faulty plumbing fixtures, damaged pipelines, etc.

They may have also been present at the water source itself from the beginning. Metal impurities cause a very unpleasant metallic taste in water.

Also, high amounts of metal impurity would lead to metal poisoning, which is harmful to human and plant health. 


It is best to use a reverse osmosis water filtration system. Reserve Osmosis water filters remove all sorts of impurities, including metallic impurities, from the water and provide water free from all contamination in its purest form.

Bottled Water Tastes Weird

Consumption Of Plastic Bottled Water

Water stored in plastic bottles, usually for retail purposes, contains certain additives like chlorine, to prevent microbial activity.

If this water is kept for a long time, the effect of chlorine decreases, leading to increased microbial activity. In such a case, the water acquires a bad taste and becomes unfit for consumption. 


To avoid this: do not store water for a long time in plastic bottles. Always carry water in your bottle.
It will help with the bad-tasting water problem and reduce the consumption of plastic, which is good for the environment.

Taste Perception

Your perception of taste might also affect the taste of your water. There could be reasons like impaired taste buds due to a temporary cold or a recent dental procedure.

In such cases, your taste perception might alter, making the water taste funny to you.

Just wait till you recover from the cold or till you’re fully recovered from the dental procedure. Once your perception returns to normal, the water will taste better again.

Also, if you’re used to consuming mineral water, and you suddenly switch to RO, which removes all the minerals from water (or water with added chlorine, which masks the taste of water), you may find the water to taste weird.


You may resolve this issue by adding a lot of ice to the water, which will numb the taste buds and prevent gagging.

Also Read: How To Add Minerals Back To RO Water

How Can I Make My Filtered Water Taste Better: 3 Tips

Avoiding Bad Tasting Water

Filter Cleaning

Many impurities may get stuck in the water filter membranes during the filtration process.

If the filter membranes aren’t cleaned regularly, the impurities start to leak into the water, contaminating it and bringing a weird taste.

In the case of RO, Carbon, and sediment filter membranes, you should replace them as it’s not safe to clean and reuse them.

Cleaning the water filter or purifier is, therefore, a must. Lucky for you, it’s quite simple.

  • Take out the drain outlet and rinse it with water.
  • If the filter has not been used for three or more days, rinse it for about 3-5 minutes.
  • If the filter has become more than ten years old, you will need to rinse it for 15 minutes.
  • Also, ensure to replace them regularly, as filters may lose their effectiveness with usage and time.

Filter Backwashing

When the filter stays out of use for long periods, bacteria and mold start to grow in it.

When such filters are used again, they give water that has bacterial contamination in it, which may cause harm to human health.

Backwashing the filter may be the way to resolve this issue. Take the filter and backwash it until it becomes perfectly clean.

Inlet Water Control

Not all filters are designed to withstand a heavy amount of water or water with high pressure. It may cause water leakage and improper filtering, leading to the consumption of bad-tasting water.

Remember to close the inlet source from time to time to avoid water leakage. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is bad-tasting water unhealthy?

Bad-tasting water could be due to the presence of impurities in water.

Depending on the kind of impurity present in water, it becomes safe or unsafe to drink.

While impurities like chlorine may not negatively affect your health, metallic impurities like iron, cobalt, etc. could lead to poisoning and significantly damage your health.

What is the simplest way to make drinking water tastier?

The simplest way to make water taste better is to add sliced fruits, citruses like lemon, and mints to water.

Is bottled water safer than tap water?

Both bottled water and tap water have comparable tastes and quality.

However, you may prefer tap water, as it’s less expensive and more environmentally friendly than bottled water.

Why does my filtered water taste metallic?

No, it is not safe to consume water with metallic impurities. Metallic impurities may have adverse effects on your health.

For example, water with copper contamination beyond 1.3 mg/L can cause nausea, headache, vomiting, and so on.

Is it safe to drink water that tastes like chlorine?

Yes, chlorine is added to water for disinfection purposes and causes no threat to your health.

The presence of chlorine up to 0.2 mg/L is likely due to leftovers from the disinfection process. 

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