Why Does My Water Taste Like Salt?

water tastes salty-min

If you ever drank a glass of water that had a salty aftertaste it could be due to the presence of chloride ions and/or sulfates in your home or office water supply. With over 316 contaminants found in water supplies throughout the U.S., it’s important to determine why your water has a strange taste so you can correct the problem and enjoy great-tasting water.

Quick 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.
  • Get your water tested by your local Water Testing Lab, which you can find here.
  • If your water comes from a private source, such as a well, you may need to take additional steps, which can be found here.

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, but 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.

If your water has a saline taste to it, it is best to have it tested to determine the source of the problem. Visit the EPA website to find a water testing lab in your area. If your water comes from a private well and not a public drinking supply, the EPA may not have the authority to test your water and you may need to take additional steps to get your water tested.

Improving Your Drinking Water

Local water quality varies from zip code to zip code. So, beyond salt and saline, your local tap water might contain various other impurities, which could impact the taste and smell of your water. Our mission at Quench is to deliver fresh, clean drinking water to all offices and commercial spaces, no matter the status of your local water quality.

With our quenchWATER+ 5-filter setup, UV technology, and other advanced filtration technologies, you can rest assured your workplace drinking water is delicious and clean. Try our product finder to get matched with the best water filtration system for your business.