How to Eliminate a Fishy Smell in Your Drinking Water in 2024

If you’ve noticed a fishy odor coming from your tap water, it can be concerning and unappetizing. However, there are several steps you can take to identify the source of the smell and effectively eliminate it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of getting rid of a fishy smell in your drinking water in 2024.
Step 1: Identify the Source of the Smell
The first step in eliminating a fishy smell from your water is to determine where the odor is coming from. Fill a glass with water from the sink that has the smell, then step away from the sink and swirl the water around inside the glass a few times. Take a whiff of the water in the glass. If you can’t detect the fishy smell, it’s likely coming from organic material in your pipes rather than contamination from your well or municipal water source.
If the fishy smell is coming from your drain, you may be able to flush it away. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil while you pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Next, pour half a cup of vinegar down the drain and let the mixture work for 15 minutes. Finally, pour in the boiling water to flush away any organic materials in the drain.

Causes of a Fishy Smell in Water

There are several potential causes of a fishy smell in drinking water:
Organic material: The main reason for a fishy smell is the presence of naturally occurring organic material in your water source, such as decaying leaves or plants.
Barium and cadmium: These metals can seep into groundwater and cause a fishy odor.
Chloramine: A compound of chlorine and ammonia used to disinfect public water sources, chloramine can sometimes produce an unpleasant fishy aroma.
Algal blooms: During the summer months, an increase in algae blooming on the surface of lakes and reservoirs can lead to a fishy smell in the water.
Step 2: Determine the Appropriate Treatment
Once you’ve identified the likely source of the fishy smell, you can choose the appropriate treatment method.

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Treating Organic Material

If the fishy smell is coming from your drain, flushing it with boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar should help remove any organic materials causing the odor.
If you have a private well, you may need to have your water storage tank cleaned periodically to prevent the growth of bacteria that can contribute to a fishy smell.

Removing Barium and Cadmium

The most effective treatment for organic contaminants such as barium and cadmium is a reverse osmosis water treatment system. Installing an under-sink reverse osmosis system will remove these metals, as well as many other contaminants like fluoride, lead, and arsenic.

Reducing Chloramine

To effectively reduce chloramines from your water, the best solution is to install a whole-house chloramine reduction system with catalytic carbon media. This will treat all the water in your home at the source.

Addressing Algal Blooms

Although municipal water treatment plants address the issue of algae in the water supply, remaining particles may still be detectable at some level. You can contact your local water company to see if this is the case and if there is a suggested resolution.
You can also install an under-sink reverse osmosis system to ensure your drinking water is clean and clear of any lingering contaminants.
Step 3: Maintain Your Water Treatment System
Once you’ve implemented a solution to eliminate the fishy smell, it’s important to maintain your water treatment system to ensure it continues to work effectively. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regular maintenance and replacement of filters or other components.
If you have a private well, be sure to have it tested regularly for contaminants and maintain your water storage tank to prevent the growth of bacteria.
By following these steps and maintaining your water treatment system, you can enjoy clean, fresh-smelling drinking water in 2024 and beyond.

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