If my water has an odor, what should I do?
Often odors that appear to be coming from running water are coming from the drain. If it seems that your water has a “rotten egg” odor, fill a glass with water and take it to another room. If the water has no odor in the other room, then the odor is probably coming from the drain. Cleaning the drain will usually correct the problem.

Chlorine odors occur when the residual chlorine disinfectant gases (CL2) combine with gases given off by common household items. New carpets, paint, flowers, pine wreaths, upholstery, scented soaps and other household products produce gases called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). When the chlorine gas and VOCs combine, you may get a smell that does not smell like either chlorine or the source of the VOC. Some of the most common descriptions of the odors are cat urine, fuel oil or chemicals.

To reduce these odors, try putting a fan in your window to air out your home to reduce the level of VOCs or use a carbon filter to reduce the level of CL2.

One interesting contributing factor is that your hot water heater builds up contaminants that cause odors when the hot water is used. Hot water heaters need to be flushed periodically to prevent these build ups. Flushing once a year is usually sufficient and amazingly effective.

Show All Answers

1. How do I report a water problem, like a leak, sewer backup or drinking water quality issue?
2. How do I get information about water quality?
3. Why is there chlorine in the water?
4. How do I decrease the amount of chlorine in my water (for fish tanks, plant watering, etc.)?
5. Is there is lead in my water?
6. Is there mercury in my water?
7. Why is there fluoride in the water?
8. What is the pH level of City of Tybee Island’s water?
9. If my water has an odor, what should I do?
10. Why is my water sometimes rusty?
11. Why does my water look cloudy?
12. Why are there particles floating in my water?
13. Why is there a pink or black ring in my toilet?
14. What causes pinhole leaks?
15. Is bottled water safer than tap water?
16. Where can I find more information?