Bitter and Metallic Tastes and Smells

Bitter and metallic tastes and smells are usually fixed by running the tap for 3 or 4 minutes to bring fresh water into your house.

Some people identify the taste of chlorine as metallic, particularly those who smoke. Have a look at our chlorine tastes and smells information​.

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 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 the water has been cleared from your system.

Bedford Regional Water Authority
1723 Falling Creek Road • Bedford • VA 24523

Bitter and Metallic Tastes and Smells