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Why does my water taste like salt?


Key facts: 

  • If your tap water has a salty aftertaste, it is likely caused by either a high concentration of chloride ions and/or sulfates in your water supply. This is due to industrial waste, irrigation drainage or seawater entering local reservoirs.
  • Although in most instances your water will be safe to drink, it is important to get your water tested as contaminants can cause damage to pipes in your home or office, as well
  • In addition to chloride and sulfates, which cause water to have a salty taste, there are over 316 different contaminants detected in water supplies throughout the U.S.
  • Get your water tested by your local Water Testing Lab.

Have you noticed your water tastes salty?

If you have ever drank a glass of water that had a salty aftertaste it could be due to a presence of chloride ions and/or sulfates in your home or office water supply. It’s important to determine why your water has a strange taste so you can correct the problem and enjoy great-tasting water.

What Causes The Taste?

There are several possible reasons why your water may taste like salt. The most likely cause may be a high concentration of chloride ions in your water source. Some of the common causes of high chloride levels in your water may be due to industrial waste or irrigation drainage. Those who live in coastal areas may experience this problem due to seawater entering a local water supply. In addition to producing a salty taste, chloride ions can corrode pipes and discolor stainless steel sinks.

Another possible cause behind your water’s salty taste is a high concentration of sulfates. Sulfates such as magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate may cause water to taste of saline. These sulfates may occur naturally in some types of soil and rocks. As groundwater or rainwater moves through the earth, naturally occurring sulfates may make their way into the local water supply. This is especially the case during winter when melting snow and rain may carry road salt runoff into reservoirs. Sulfate may also appear in your water supply as the result of industrial waste, shale, or the breakdown of sulfide ores. In addition to a strange taste, the presence of greater than 500 mg / L of sulfates in your water may produce a laxative effect in those who drink it.

What Should You Do?

Not only is water with a salty aftertaste unpleasant to consume, it can also damage pipes and boilers. Although it is not likely hazardous to humans, high levels of sulfates in your drinking water may cause diarrhea. Additionally, individuals who are on a sodium-sensitive diet should speak with their physicians and may want to take extra precautions if their water has a salty aftertaste.

Improving Your Drinking Water

Beyond salt and saline, your tap water is filled with various contaminants and bacteria and every public water source is different. Our mission at Waterlogic is to deliver fresh, clean water to all households and offices with our UV filtration water coolers that eliminate over 99.9999% of bacteria found in tap water sources. Take a look at our water dispenser range or request your quote for a water cooler.