APRIL 21, 1997

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Home & Garden

Bad taste or odor may start at home

water odors As the weather warms up, Woodinville Water District begins to get numerous calls from customers about poor tasting or foul smelling water. Often the source of this problem is on the customer's property. A garden hose with a nozzle, left connected and turned on, can be the root of the trouble.
   When a hose is pressurized, warm weather will heat the water in the hose. The water expands and backs up into the fixtures inside the home. This is called thermal expansion. When this occurs, water is said to taste like it is full of chemicals, or it has a rubber, plastic, or metallic taste. It can also have a smell of gasoline.
   The problem becomes even more acute if a bottle of lawn fertilizer or insecticide is left attached to a pressurized hose. These chemicals can then enter the household plumbing and contaminate the water.
   Garden hoses should never be left pressurized because they become, in essence, part of the plumbing system of the house. They should also never be used as a quick fix for a leak in a service line or in household plumbing.
   For additional information on this or related problems, call Kathy Caldwell, Water Quality/Cross Connection Specialist, at 483-9104, ext. 321.