Earthy, Musty, Moldy, Grassy Odor

The most common cause of this type of problem is the drain. Over time, organic matter (such as hair, soap, and food waste) can accumulate on the walls of the drain and cause bacteria to grow on these organic deposits. To make sure the problem is not in the tap water, fill a glass with a small amount of tap water, then step away from the sink and swirl the water around inside the glass. If the problem is in the drain, the tap water in the glass should not have an odor.

These odors may be caused by an algae bloom. On occasion, mainly during periods of warm weather, CCWD can experience unusually large algal blooms in our source water, some consumers may experience some unpleasant taste and/or odor associated with their drinking water - musty, dirty or "earthy". Some important information and tips to know: 

  • Algal tastes and odors are purely aesthetic and pose no health risks. CCWD continues to meet or exceed all Federal and State Drinking Water Regulations.
  • CCWD employs a number of treatment measures to remove algal tastes and odors; however, if they pass into the treated water distribution system, it may take a few days for them to dissipate.
  • Algal tastes and odors are more noticeable in hot water, rather than cold. To reduce unpleasant taste and odor for drinking, fill a pitcher and chill the water. This practice also conserves water by avoiding running water through the tap until it is cold. Adding lemon helps too.
    • Ice may need to be replaced if made when taste and odors are present.  
    • Odor may persist in hot water longer than in cold water. If this occurs, you may consider flushing your hot water tank.
Back to Troubleshoot Water at Your Tap

Show All Answers

1. Taste
2. Odor
3. Earthy, Musty, Moldy, Grassy Odor
4. Gasoline, Turpentine, or Organic Solvent Odor