FAQs - Normally, you should not have any Water Taste or Odor Problems

The Milwaukee Water Works uses ozone gas as a disinfectant to destroy illness-causing microorganisms and harmful compounds. Ozone also breaks apart molecules that cause taste and odor. Normally, the water is pure, fresh, and delicious but sometimes water creates its own issues.

Internal Link

Why does boiled water taste flat?

Internal Link My washed laundry seems to smell musty or earthy
Internal Link The water seems to smell musty
Internal Link Why would water have a gasoline or petroleum-like odor?
Internal Link When I run the water, I smell something stinky
Internal Link The water seems to taste stale

 

Why does boiled water taste flat?

Many things can be dissolved in water, including air. When the water is boiled, the dissolved air leaves the water and the result is a flat taste. After boiling water, aerate the water by pouring it back and forth a few times between two containers. This adds air to the water and it will taste better.

internal linkback to top

My washed laundry seems to smell musty or earthy

Washed laundry that smells musty or earthy is caused by leaving wet laundry in a closed washing machine. Molds and mildew grow quickly in dark, moist environments, particularly during warm, humid weather. Remove laundry immediately after washing. To remove the musty odor, wash the laundry again.

internal linkback to top

The water seems to smell musty

This happens at one faucet

If the musty odor occurs only at one faucet, the odor is related to something at or near the faucet. Try pouring cleaner or bleach, but not both at the same time, down the drain. This often removes the odor. 

This happens at all of the faucets

Call the Milwaukee Water Works Water Quality Section during regular business hours, 414-286-2585.

internal linkback to top

Why would water have a gasoline or petroleum-like odor?

At only one faucet

Make sure the odor is not in the water. Fill a glass with water and take it away from the sink. Now smell the water. If there is no odor in the glass of water, the odor is coming from the sink or drain or something in the room. If the odor persists, call a plumber. 

At all faucets

If the odor is coming from all of the taps, do not drink the water. Call the Milwaukee Water Works Water Quality Section during regular business hours, (414) 286-2585, and after business hours and on weekends, call the Milwaukee Water Works 24-hour Control Center, (414) 286-3710.

internal linkback to top

When I run the water, I smell something stinky

From the hot water tap

If the odor is only in the hot water, the odor is most likely coming from some component of the hot water system such as the water heater. Refer to the water heater owner's manual for maintenance instructions or call a plumber. 

From only one faucet 

Fill a glass with water, take it away from the sink, and smell the water. If the odor cannot be detected, the odor is coming from the sink drain and trap. Fill the trap under the sink with water to prevent sewer gas from coming through the pipes. Run the faucet a short time to fill the trap. Try pouring cleaner or bleach, but not both at the same time, down the drain. This often removes the odor.

If the odor is at all of the faucets, call the Milwaukee Water Works Water Quality Section during regular business hours, (414) 286-2585, and after business hours and on weekends, call the Milwaukee Water Works 24-hour Control Center, (414) 286-3710.

internal linkback to top

The water seems to taste stale

The water may taste stale if faucets have not been used in a while. The water was motionless in the pipes. Run the water for a few minutes to bring fresh water from the water main in the street into your plumbing.

internal linkback to top