Why Does My Water Taste Salty?

Does the drinking water in your home taste salty? 

This is caused by a high concentration of chloride ions or sulfates in the water you are drinking. The reason why you have them in your water could be because of:

  • Industrial waste
  • Floodings
  • Contaminants
  • Water Softener
That is a common problem a lot of people with water softeners have, especially in the mornings because the valve sometimes leaks the salt into your water line during the regeneration process during the night.

Water Softeners

Since the regeneration cycle takes place in the middle of the night a couple of times per week, the water is going to taste salty only in the morning, after the regeneration cycle occurs.

If you are using the water during the regeneration process, the valve could leak the salty water into your water line. A simple solution to fix this problem would be to let the water run for a little bit before you use it. The water pressure will clean out the salt from the pipes and you will have clean water.

These problems usually occur with water softeners that have flapper valves that are held by water pressure. If the water pressure drops, the valve will open up and the salt will be leaked into your water.  

Is Salty Water Safe To Drink?

Salty water is generally safe to drink because the amount of salt in the water is not in high quantities to cause any short or long-term problems. But, if the salty taste in the water is not caused by the salt leaking into your water softener, there might be other contaminants in your water that can make your water dangerous for your health. Salty water can produce a laxative effect on those who drink it as well. If the water you are drinking is consistently salty, then this may present more serious problems for your health and your home. Consuming salty foods typically leaves an aftertaste in the mouth. If this flavor remains for an extended period of time, it could be indicative of a more serious problem. A medical evaluation and diagnosis are required to determine the source of a lasting salty taste.  Certain causes are harmless; however, others could necessitate a visit to the dentist or doctor. Salty water is bad for your water-based appliances because it makes them corrode much faster and the chloride ions can discolor your stainless steel appliances. You can test your water supply to find out if the water you are drinking is safe or if it contains dangerous contaminants.

Other Common Reasons

The people who live near the coasts might have a salty water taste from the saltwater entering into their local water supply.  High concentrations of sulfate and sodium in your water source can also make your water taste salty. But this shouldn’t be an issue if you are using a water filtration system. Another reason for your water’s salty flavor is its high sulfur level. Sulfates, like sodium sulfate or magnesium sulfate, will provide an unpleasant taste to the water. These sulfates are naturally present in a wide variety of rocks and soils. Sulfates can enter your filtered water supplies when rainwater or groundwater naturally passes through the earth. It is most likely that during the winter, melting snow, or rain will carry road salt runoff into reservoirs. Sulfate might be found in your drinking water as a result of industrial waste, shale, or mineral degradation. Along with the strange flavor and sour taste, water containing more than 500 mg/L sulfates can trigger a laxative reaction in those who consume it.

What can you do about it?

Salty water is uncomfortable to drink, but it can also corrode and discolor your pipes and stainless steel appliances in your home. It might not cause any serious health problems, but it has a laxative effect on humans. If the salty taste in your water comes from a water softener, then that should be easy to fix. You can let the water run in the morning for a minute so that the salt will be cleared from the pipes or you can call a technician to see if the valve is set up properly. If you have a problem with salty water and you don’t have a water softener in your home, we recommend that you test your water so that you can identify where the salty taste is coming from.  You can always contact your local water treatment company to install a water purifying system in your home so that you can block contaminants from entering your drinking water.