Chlorine Bleach Taste or Smell in Water

Views: 889

Chlorine Bleach Taste or Smell in Water

My water has a chlorine/bleach taste or smell to it

Why do I taste or smell chlorine in the water?

The City of South Bend chlorinates the drinking water to prevent the growth of disease causing microorganisms in the distribution system.

How much chlorine is added? Is the level safe?

Chlorine or bleach is added to the water to achieve a level of around 1.2 parts per million entering the distribution system. It is added at this level to be sure that some remains even in the furthest parts of the distribution system. This is a very safe level of chlorine. Daily samples are taken to verify that a safe level is present throughout the distribution system.

Why does it taste or smell so strong at my house?

Some people are more sensitive to the taste/smell of chlorine than others.  

  1. The concentration of chlorine may depend on the distance your home is from a treatment plant.  The further away from the treatment plants you get, the lower the chlorine level will be.  
  2. You may taste or smell chlorine more in the morning and early evening because more people are using the water at those times.  
  3. You also may smell chlorine after you first turn on your water in the morning because it has set in your pipes overnight.
  4. Additionally, if there is build up in your faucet aerators, the chlorine may be combining with the substance present, which can give off an odor.

What can I do if I don't want to taste or smell the chlorine?

  • A filter pitcher can remove the chlorine from your water.  
  • You can also just fill a container of water and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour and the taste and smell should go away.  
  • If you only smell it first thing in the morning, let your water run a few minutes before using it. It is a good idea to flush your lines after water has been sitting in the pipes anyway.
  • If your aerators seem clogged, remove and clean them, flushing your line before replacing the aerator.


If you have additional questions about chlorine, call 311.

311 Process Notes

Please create a service request for the enQuesta water quality queue for all water quality calls.  Please forward all additional questions to water quality at 9670.