Taste and odour

My water tastes/smells of chlorine

Chlorine is added during water treatment as a disinfectant to kill any disease producing organisms. A small residual amount of chlorine is generally present in the treated water that reaches your tap. This is to ensure that the quality of the drinking water is maintained through the pipe network.

Some people are more sensitive than others to the smell or taste of chlorine and may become aware of occasional changes in chlorine levels in their tap water. This could be because we have been working on the water mains or we are having to supply you with water from a different water treatment works.

Advice: If you find the taste of chlorine unacceptable, a good solution is to draw off a jug of tap water and keep this in the fridge. Not only will the chilled water taste better it will lose that chlorine smell or taste. Keep the jug covered and do not keep any water in the jug for more than 24 hours. If you have a problem with the taste of your water, please contact us on 01223 70 60 50.

My water has a rubber/plastic/disinfectant/TCP taste and smell

Most dishwashers and washing machines are now connected directly to the mains water supply but are sometimes not installed correctly.

All connections should include a single check valve (also known as a non-return valve) so that water within the flexible hoses or the dishwasher or washing machine itself, cannot return to the mains supply and reach the kitchen tap.

If it does not have a check valve you are likely to get rubber/plastic/disinfectant/TCP tastes and odours in your tap water. Also flexible hoses can deteriorate over time and release traces of chemicals that can cause ‘chemical' type tastes and odours that are particularly noticeable with hot drinks. Fitting non-return valves will prevent this problem.

If you notice unusual ‘medicinal' or ‘plastic' tastes only in hot drinks this can often be due to the seal that separates the kettle's heating element from the water. This is particularly noticeable in new kettles. To confirm whether the kettle is the problem, try making a hot drink with water boiled in a saucepan and compare the taste with one made from the kettle. If the taste has gone away then the cause is likely to be your kettle.