Why does your water smell and taste bad? And how to fix it.

If you’ve ever wondered why your water has a very distinct and unpleasant smell or taste, you’re not alone. It’s a common complaint from Phoenix-area residents.

That unfriendly smell and taste isn’t the water though; it’s the impurities contained within it—likely chlorine or dissolved minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and sodium. You actually can’t smell or taste pure water. But pure water isn’t exactly your reality if you’re using water straight from your tap. That’s because every city treats their water supply to some degree. And here in Phoenix-area cities, the water is disinfected with chlorine before being delivered to your faucet. While it’s not the only impurity in your water, let’s start with the reason why it has chlorine in the first place.

Although it contributes to a foul odor and taste, chlorine in your water has a purpose. Just about every municipality uses chlorine to disinfect the tap water, neutralizing harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants. In the Phoenix area, a lot of our water travels through our canals to get where it’s needed, and in the process collects the algae that grows there. The chlorine in your water helps counter that algae.

There are other impurities or particulates in your water as well. Arizona residents are no stranger to hard water—the result of dissolved minerals that occur naturally in water. These dissolved minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and sodium, are absorbed into the water from the ground as the water flows through rivers, streams, and underground. The result can be a bitter or salty taste in your tap water. Although not necessarily harmful to you, hard water can clog or even corrode your home’s pipes.

Unfortunately, Arizona’s groundwater has also been known to have traces of fertilizers, fluoride, pathogens, and even radioactive elements. But according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), low amounts of most contaminants are not considered harmful. Cities are also required to perform tests on water. Sure, sounds good (or not), but even if it’s safe, the resulting taste isn’t always the easiest to swallow.

If the only one in your household not complaining about the smell or taste of your tap water is your pet, perhaps it’s time for a water filtration system from Chas Roberts. Having the right water filtration system can improve the taste of your water for you and your family. It also has many benefits beyond that.

A Chas Roberts water filtration system can:

• Improve the taste of your drinking water
• Reduce the number of contaminants in your water
• Soften Arizona’s hard water and reduce harmful corrosion to pipes and appliances

So, what’s the right water filtration system for your home?

At Chas Roberts, we know how important it is to have access to healthy, contaminant-free water. Knowing what water filtration options are available will ensure you have delicious and healthy drinking water on tap, regardless of where you live. Our Chas Roberts technicians are experts in Arizona water treatment systems. Below is an overview of the most common water filtration methods and the types of impurities they remove:

Particle filtration

Particle filtration is used to remove traces of particles in water ranging from sand to clay. Particle filtration also removes sediments from well water.

Activated carbon filtrations (Ultrafiltration)

Activated carbon filtrations are used to remove unwanted taste and odor from water and minimize health hazards. Ultrafiltration removes low concentrations of organic chemicals like pesticides and solvents and can reduce the levels of radon gas and chlorine found in water. Ultrafiltration does not soften water or disinfect it.


Distillation removes microorganisms, minerals, and metals from water. The process kills bacteria and leaves very few contaminants. Some home distillation units with carbon filters can remove volatile organic chemicals.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Five-stage reverse osmosis (RO) is the most popular water treatment in Phoenix, because many residents wish to improve the taste and purity of their drinking water. RO systems produce pure and great tasting water through an intricate process.

Ion exchange (Water softening)

Ion exchange is used to replace calcium with magnesium ions. Water softeners can also remove metals. However, they cannot remove organic chemicals, pathogens, particles, or radon gas.

Get Expert Advice

Depending on your specific situation, there can be varying pros and cons to the above water filtration systems. For a professional consultation and a better understanding of what your particular home and family could benefit most from, contact us for an expert opinion.