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Bitter and metallic tastes and smells

Follow our advice if your water tastes or smells bitter or metallic.

Bitter and metallic tastes and smells

What should I do if my water tastes or smells bitter?

Generally bitter and metallic taste and smells may be resolved by running the tap for several minutes to bring fresh water into the property.

Some people identify the taste of chlorine as metallic, particularly those who smoke. For advice on chlorine taste and smell, click here.

Works in your area

Water supply issues can often be caused by works being carried out in your area. Enter your postcode to see if there are any roadworks or incidents that could be affecting you.

What causes bitter tastes and smells?

A metallic or bitter taste in water is normally associated with increased concentrations of metals commonly found in domestic plumbing systems, such as copper or zinc. It can often be due to water standing in that pipework for several hours or more and may be subject to local warming from unlagged hot water or central heating pipework.

This can be more noticeable in large buildings or in buildings with long lengths of pipework. Also, if you have a water storage tank, check what material it is made from and what condition it is in. Run your tap to draw fresh water in from the mains supply. You should notice a change in the water temperature when all of the water has been cleared from your system.

Works in your area

Water supply issues can often be caused by works being carried out in your area. Enter your postcode to see if there are any roadworks or incidents that could be affecting you.

Watch our bitter and metallic taste and smell advice video

Follow our advice if your water tastes or smells bitter or metallic.