The Real Reason Your Water Tastes Like Metal

"There may be a number of reasons why your water has a metallic taste," Water Logic, a company that makes water dispensers and filters, noted in its blog-styled response to a hypothetical worried water drinker. "The most likely reason is the presence of actual metal content."

Before we rupture anything with our eye rolls, the company continues to list minerals that could be the cause of the metal tasting water. There is the possibility that this is due to common place contaminants like zinc, copper, or iron. In some cases this could be due to pipes rusting, with lead pipes being the worst cases scenario. Alternatively, it could be due to a pH imbalance in the water.

Outside of cases in which you have lead in your water, Tap Score states that metallic tastes will probably not be ruinous to your health. Though high levels of zinc could induce vomiting, you would notice those kinds of concentrations before you drink enough to vomit. Similarly, iron and manganese could stain fixtures and laundry, but you do not need to panic over ingesting that either.

Ultimately, Water Logic's advice comes in three parts. First, stop drinking the weird tasting water. Second, have the water tested to ensure that it is free of lead. Third, buy Water Logic's products because if you always filter your water, you will never have to worry about metallic or lead contaminants coming out of your tap again. After all, metallic-tasting water does help the brand promote its products well.

Why don't we have better water quality?

It's all well and good for Water Logic to brush off concerns about water safety as a chance to flex their entrepreneurial elbows. But clean water should not be something for which society depends upon private businesses.

Last year, Time noted that 30 million Americans live with water that cannot be classified as fit for drinking. This is also over half a decade after national headlines bore the story of the lead laced water in Flint, Michigan. When the coronavirus pandemic did hit American shores, Vox reported that these Americans were trapped with thick brown water from which they could neither drink nor wash their hands.

Of course, as The Conversation notes, 30 million people only make up about 8% of the population, but as the piece also reaffirms, accepting that amount of polluted, dangerous water swirling through people's pipes amounts to complacent negligence: "No other industry would accept an 8[%] failure rate, and I do not believe U.S. water professionals see that figure as acceptable." 

Without a rigorously enforced set of standards for a basic, humane water quality, the only solution many have is to turn to Water Logic and other such brands for their filters as the marvels of modern technology prove too poisonous for them to drink.