Why Does My Water Taste Sweet?

Why Does My Water Taste Sweet?
Unless you’ve just added flavoring to your water, you normally don’t expect it to taste sweet. When you sip a glass from your tap that has a sweet taste, you may wonder what got into your water, and even worry if it’s harmful.

While typically not a health concern, there are a few common reasons why your water might taste sweet, and treatment options available if needed.

What does my water taste sweet?

The most likely reasons water tastes sweet are that it has high concentrations of minerals, a pH imbalance, plumbing residue, or even an interaction with your diet or sense of smell.

You can test your water to verify if there is a contaminant responsible for the taste, and also to discover other issues you may not realize are affecting your water quality.

• Minerals in the water

A common reason for water tasting sweet is it has a high concentration of minerals such as calcium. Well water in particular is likely to contain such minerals, which are also responsible for hard water. While not a health risk, you may want to treat your water if hardness minerals are present because they can have serious effects on your plumbing, appliances, and water quality.

Read more about hard water

• Alkaline or high pH water

A pH level of 7 is considered “neutral”. The acceptable range for pH in water systems is 6.5 to 8.5. If outside this range, you have a pH imbalance. A high pH, or Alkaline, water can also have higher levels of minerals and is sometimes described as having a sweet taste. Naturally alkaline water is generally considered safe to drink.

• Plumbing

It’s possible that a sweet taste in your water indicates the need to flush your pipes. No matter the age or type of plumbing, it can sometimes change the way your water tastes.

If your plumbing is affecting the taste of your water, cleaning your pipes out may fix the problem.

• Your diet/sense of smell

If you ate something just before noticing the sweet taste in your water, your perception might be skewed. Sometimes the difference in tastes or smells between the food and the water make the water seem sweet in comparison.

You may also be confusing the sweet taste with a smell. Because people can more easily detect changes in odor than taste, you may perceive a change in taste that is actually related to its smell.

How do you get rid of sweet taste in water?

After you’ve tested your water to verify if there’s a contaminant in your water, you can choose the most effective treatment solution.

• Calcium treatment - water softener

If you have high levels of calcium in your water, you have hard water. Hard water is defined as having high levels of hardness minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The higher the mineral content, the harder the water. Measured in grains per gallon (GPG), you may start to see the effects of hard water at around 7 GPG of hardness.

While not considered a health hazard, hard water can leave scale on your appliances, build up mineral deposits in plumbing, make laundry feel stiff and rough, and leave your skin and hair dull and lifeless.

A traditional salt-based water softener is recommended for well water, while a salt-free conditioner is a great option for municipal water supplies. Successful treatment will depend on both the level of hardness, and if there are other contaminants present in the water such as iron.

Shop Water Softeners

Shop Salt-Free Water Conditioners

• Alkaline (low pH) - water softener

If the cause of your sweet tasting water is a pH imbalance, it’s possible you don’t need to do anything. Alkaline water isn’t considered a threat to your health.

But if the water is alkaline because of hardness minerals, you may want to soften your water to reduce the hardness before your plumbing, fixtures, and appliances are affected.

Shop Water Softeners

Shop Salt-Free Water Conditioners

• Plumbing - flush out the pipes

If the sweet taste of your water is from contact with whatever is trapped in your pipes, you can let your water run to clear them out. When you fill up your glass, let the water run for a bit before you fill up your glass. Sometimes this is all the flushing needed to eliminate the funny taste.

• Sensitivity to tastes and smells - undersink filtration

When your water tastes sweet because you just happen to have a very sensitive sense of taste or smell, your best bet might be to install an undersink filtration system to rid your water of any trace of particles or contaminants.

An Ultrafiltration System or Reverse Osmosis System will provide maximum filtration of your drinking water, dispensed from its own dedicated faucet.

Ultrafiltration Systems

Reverse Osmosis System

You could also consider investing in a whole house carbon and KDF filtration system to provide better tasting water to every tap in your home. While designed to rid your water of chlorine taste and odor, these systems also reduce heavy metals like lead and mercury, organic chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Whole house chlorine reduction system

You can treat your sweet tasting water

If your home’s drinking water tastes sweet, it’s likely an easy fix. It’s possible you may not even have an issue with your water, but your perception.

It’s always a good idea to test your water to verify if there are other issues that don’t leave obvious clues like taste or smell.
Once you’ve verified your water’s issues, you can choose the most effective treatment, and enjoy all the benefits of clean, healthy water.