My tap water tastes flat
June 25, 2007 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Can I make my tap water better, or is it time to get bottled water delivery?

I am not happy with my tap water. I have no worries about it being safe to drink, but the taste isn't so good. I have an undersink Omni SFM2 filter, which takes an activated carbon cartridge -- essentially, it's a big Brita. Now, my tap water no longer tastes like it came directly out of a swamp, but it's still not great. I would describe it as dull/flat tasting. Any suggestions for how to improve it?

If not, I'm thinking of starting home water delivery. So, any tips on that would be appreciated as well.
posted by SampleSize to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It might be cheaper to set yourself up with some Brita filter pitchers to re-filter the tap-filtered water.

Alternatively, and even more cheaply, you can just leave your water out in an open container for a few hours/overnight to let the chlorine gas escape.
posted by mdonley at 9:01 AM on June 25, 2007

Get a big jug, fill it full of filtered water, and keep it in your fridge. Cold water tastes entirely different from warm water, or even sink temperature water, as you'll notice if you leave the bottled stuff at room temperature.
posted by anaelith at 9:07 AM on June 25, 2007

I had this problem when I moved and went from a distilled water cooler to tap. I just fill a big Brita filter pitcher and keep it in the fridge. As anaelith says, I think it's as much the coldness of the water as the filtering, although the filtering does improve the flavor a lot.
posted by pocams at 9:20 AM on June 25, 2007

I use an Aquasana water filter at home, mainly in the kitchen. Here is a link to a comparison table of water filters. I don't recc the brita pitcher type filters, as for kitchen use, you might want to just fill a glass or a pot of water, it's not great to wait for the filter to do its job. The great thing about getting a fed-type water filter is that the ffiltration is instant.
posted by parmanparman at 9:35 AM on June 25, 2007

Another way to double filter it would be to install a Brita-on-Tap or a Pur system to your actual faucet. We had one and it was awesome - my husband likes room-temperature water to drink and I like cold, so he was happy drinking it right from the tap and I would keep a glass pitcher full in the fridge. Now in our new house our kitchen sink faucet can't accommodate a brita-on-tap so we're going to switch back to a Brita pitcher.

I would avoid getting bottled water service if at all possible. Because of the costs of transporting & bottling it, it leaves a larger ecological footprint than finding a way to improve your water at home.

As a side note, some of my guy friends who shared an apartment and wound up with multiple Brita pitchers tried an experiment to see if double & triple filtering water made a significant difference. They all agreed that the double filtering made for some really tasty water.
posted by tastybrains at 11:42 AM on June 25, 2007

They all agreed that the double filtering made for some really tasty water.

Double-blinded double filter test?
posted by meehawl at 12:26 PM on June 25, 2007

I have the same problem. I tried using a brita pitcher and whatever. But changing filters was a drag, and they didn't work that well anyway.

So, I bought a couple 5 gallon water jugs (6 bucks each) and a sunbeam water dispenser (80 bucks). The supermarkets sell filtered water here for 39cents per gallon.

I go through about a bottle a week which costs about two bucks to refill. It's a pain to haul the 40lb thing from the car (our parking garage is about a block away) but, it's cheaper than a delivery service, and the water is pretty good.

Hope this Helps.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:28 PM on June 25, 2007

Best answer: That swampy odor and taste is most likely the result of algae releasing chemicals as it is treated with chlorine. The best type of filter to look for is one that bears the following cert: ANSI/NSF Standard No. 42 for the reduction of taste and odor.

If you're really ambitious and own the house, a water softner system could be a viable alternative as well, as they are generally maintenance free and don't pose a problem of clogging up as much as a charcoal filter system would. The only catch is you need to supply it 60lbs of salt every few months or so (it's used to flush out and self clean).
posted by samsara at 12:50 PM on June 25, 2007

I think your filters could be removing some of the dissolved oxygen in the water, or it could be starting out oxygen deficient.

You could try using an aquarium pump overnight to aerate it as much as possible.
posted by jamjam at 1:03 PM on June 25, 2007

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