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Why Does Tap Water Have Different Tastes and Smells in Different Locations?


Why Does Tap Water Have Different Tastes and Smells in Different Locations?


Ever wonder why tap water has a different taste depending on your location – even a short distance from a city to its suburbs? WBEZ 95.1 FM’s show “Curious City” has and they recently did research on why the smell and taste of water can vary from city to town.

According to “Curious City,” tap water’s original source, treatment and delivery are all factors in the taste and smell of your water. Most water comes from ground water, such as private wells, or surface water, such as lakes and rivers (1). Source is a large indicator of taste and smell in your tap water. Many municipalities will also reduce contaminants in water in order to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) guidelines for safe water which will likely alter its taste and odor (1). Delivery of water through pipes can also take part in the make-up of your water (1).

If you are curious to know what is giving your water a different taste or smell, you should have your water tested. That way you will know what the source of the bad taste and odor is and what options you have to reduce it. You can get more information on reverse osmosis drinking water filters at or give your local water expert (The Culligan Man) a call!

Check out the full article from “Curious City,” complete with a tap water taste test, to learn more about Chicago city vs. Chicago suburb water.

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