Causes Of Sudden Weird Tastes In Well Water

If your long-lived, usually good-tasting well water source has started tasting rather weird lately, there are a number of causes that could be behind this. All cases require inspection to ensure the water is still safe and to determine if there is an issue with the well configuration itself. Some causes can be fixed, too, while others are ones you'll just have to live with, or you might possibly need to drill a new well.

Breach of Sanitary Seal

The well pump and the hole where the pump enters the ground needs to have a sanitary seal that keeps aboveground materials from falling into the water source and well shaft. That seal could have been breached, allowing contaminated surface water into the well or allowing debris in that lent a nasty flavor to the water. You'll need to get the water tested to ensure it's still safe.

Underground Contamination of Water Source

It's also possible the underground water source was contaminated from a breach underground, such as the breakdown of a rocky wall on one side of the underground aquifer that allowed water from another aquifer to flow into the first one. There could be groundwater pollution from another site at the other end of the aquifer. And it's possible that a particularly concentrated area of minerals in the aquifer wall has started leaching those minerals into the water. Iron, for example, can produce some bad-tasting water and odors.

Brackish Pocket

Related to that, if the water source has been slowly dropping over the years, it is possible that the source is starting to dry up, which would concentrate natural minerals into the water that's left. The remaining water could be very brackish and not at all palatable. You'd need to look into drilling a deeper well or an entirely new one if this were the case. If a number of new wells have been drilled in the past few months, and they all tap into the same source, you could be looking at a dwindling supply. People are supposed to get permits for wells to ensure the water sources aren't overburdened with well after well. But not everyone always follows the law.

Sudden changes in your well water do indicate that the well needs attention. It's not unusual for wells to produce water that doesn't taste right, but a sudden switch from fine to gross means something has definitely changed in the well. Have a water well drilling company like Russell Well Drilling come out and inspect the pump, seal, and water quality. If there is a widespread problem, such as multiple users on the same well experiencing pressure issues, the company will be able to get a better sense of what might be causing the issue.