Bitter and Metallic

Water with a metallic or bitter taste can be caused by your internal pipework. You can find out more information below:

  • A metallic or bitter water taste can arise from copper, iron or galvanised pipes which have been exposed to standing water, this is easily resolved by running the tap for several minutes to bring fresh water into your home – you could use the water to water the plants!

    Occasionally, customers identify the taste of chlorine as metallic. Click here for advice on chlorine taste and smell.

  • A few common household causes of bitter or metallic tastes are:

    • Standing water in pipes for several hours or more. This is often more noticeable in large buildings or in buildings with long lengths of pipework.

    • Occasionally, glasses or cups that have been through a dishwasher may retain traces of detergents.

    • Water storage tanks can sometimes affect the taste or smell of your water, depending on the material or condition of these.


    • Try filling a washing-up bowl with water to draw fresh water through the pipe. You could use the water in the bowl for watering plants! You should notice a slight change in the temperature of your water when all of the water has been cleared from your system.

    • Try rinsing the glass or cup with tap water and see whether the taste is still there. If so, adjust the settings on your dishwasher and use no more than the recommended amount of detergent and rinse-aid.

    • If you have a water storage tank, check what material it is made from and what condition it is in. 


Does your water taste/smell bitter?

Watch WaterSafe's video to find out how you can tackle the taste and smell of bitter or metallic tap water.