Weird smelling water

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Topic: Weird smelling water

General Discussion January 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Weird smelling water

I was curious whether anyone else has an issue with their tap water smelling like…well, I’m not exactly sure how to describe it.  The following things come to mind:  musty, sweet, reminiscent of body odor but not quite body odor.  Taste is unchanged.
I live in Adams Morgan and work downtown and I’ve noticed the smell in our water in our bathrooms too.  Whenever I smell it at work, I end up smelling it at home in the evening as well.  
Potomac fluctuations?  Lead?  Sewage?

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YES — i live nearby in columbia heights (14th & columbia) and my bathroom tapwater smells like, well…bathroom.  Think the day after eating a rotten chimichanga.  Have you dug deeper into the problem?  Ok, i’m gonna read PoP’s post now.


Mine too! My bathroom water smells like crap, but not my kitchen water. I’m at Connecticut Ave & Nebraska.)  Maybe it has something to do with how bathroom plumbing was done during that time (my building was built in 1927 and hasn’t had a major renovation since).

Called my super today to ask about this and got voicemail.  Will report back when he calls!

I have noticed the water lately having a stronger chemical smell and if you let it sit for a while, the taste is reminiscent of that taste you get in your mouth after a whiff of a goldfish bowl that needs cleaning.  I have also noticed there’s a strong “sewery” smell in the bathroom and kitchen now and then since late summer.  I live in a big apartment building downtown.  I called DCWater and they were about as helpful as a bowl of potpourri. “We don’t have any work going on affecting the lines in your area” was all they had to offer.  (They were much more helpful when I reached out to them in the past before they dropped the WASA name.)
It isn’t as bad as when they switch to all chlorine in the spring to flush the lines, which makes the water smell and taste like a public swimming pool and my skin gets blotches that look like chem burns after showering.  Nonetheless, it’s unpleasant.  I have a Pur on my kitchen faucet, which makes the water drinkable…but it doesn’t do anything for everywhere else you encounter plain tap water.
I wonder if there could be any connection with the Crosstown Aqueduct project that was going on up at 25th & N for months?  Maybe a lot of “old stuff” got kicked up?  Or maybe the new mains they put in are the cause of the icky taste and odors?

My super called me back and told me the smell is normal.  His explanation was that what we are smelling is the vapors from the chemicals that are put into the water to treat it.  He said it comes and goes in cycles relative to the treatment cycle, which is why I only smell it some of the time.  Not sure if this is bullshit, but that’s all I could get out of him.

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