Why Does Your Water Taste Salty?

If you detect a salty aftertaste when you drink a glass of water, it could be due to sulfates or chlorine ions being present in your water supply. Unfortunately, with hundreds of possible contaminants found in the water supplies around the U.S, it is important that you determine the source of any unusual taste, so you can correct the issue and return to enjoying great tasting water.

A Few Water Facts: Why Does Your Water Taste Salty?

There are over 316 contaminants detected in U.S water supplies, and many of these can affect the taste, appearance, and odor of your water. The two most common causes of a salty taste are high concentrations of chloride ions or sulfates in your water supply. This can be a result of seawater, irrigation drainage or industrial waste entering the local reservoirs. In most cases, your water is still safe to drink, but it important that you have your water tested, as some contaminants can cause damage to appliances, pipes, and fixtures in your property.

Salty Tasting Water:

There are a few possible reasons that your water has a salty aftertaste. The most common cause is a high concentration of chloride in the water. This can be a result of irrigation drainage compromising the water source. Chloride not only creates a salty taste, but it can discolor stainless steel fixtures and corrode your pipes.

If you live in a coastal area, it could be that seawater has infiltrated the local water supply. This is usually a temporary issue that can be addressed by your utility company.

Finally, another common cause of salty tasting water is a high level of sulfates. Sulfates including sodium sulfate and magnesium sulfate can create a saline taste in water. These types of sulfates may be naturally occurring in the local geology. As water passes through the soil and rocks, it will carry these sulfates into the water supplies and groundwater. This can also occur in winter when rain and snowmelt carries road salt runoff into the local reservoirs. Sulfates can also enter water supplies due to industrial actions including mining. If your water is salty because of high levels of sulfates, you should be aware that levels of 500 mg per liter can create a laxative effect when it is consumed.

What You Can Do:

Not only is salty tasting water unpleasant to drink, but it could also be causing damage around your home. While it is not likely to be unsafe for humans, a high level could create unpleasant effects including stomach upsets.

If your water does taste salty, it is a good idea to trace the underlying cause. The EPA has a list of water testing labs throughout the U.S, but if your water supply is a private well, you will need to take additional steps to ensure that your water is properly tested.

If you have concerns about your water quality, you should speak to a water treatment professional. A fully certified WQA technician can assess your water and advise you on the treatment options available that meet the current industry standards.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University. He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

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Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

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