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Taste

Southern Nevada's water supply meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards. However, the taste of tap water may not appeal to you. Most people complain about the taste of chlorine, which is added during the water-treatment process.

water pitcher and glass on kitchen countertop
glass of water with lemon
pouring water from filter jug into drinking glass with lemon
Put a pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator.

This allows the chlorine to dissipate. After just a few hours, you'll notice an improvement in flavor.

Add a lemon or orange slice.

You'll add zest and eliminate the chlorine taste.

Filter your water.

There are hundreds of filter options at varying costs, but an inexpensive activated carbon filter, like those found in carafe systems, can improve taste and odor perceptions associated with chlorine. These filters do not remove hardness, minerals, sodium or fluoride.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority can't recommend any specific home water treatment system, but we can help you make an informed decision. For a water-quality information packet, fill out our interest form.

Taste tests

The Water Authority has trained some of its staff to evaluate the aroma and taste of drinking water. These employee volunteers serve on a water flavor profile panel.

This team of trained water tasters may not have as much fun as wine tasters, but they are helping ensure the high quality of Southern Nevada's drinking water. These employees meet weekly to evaluate drinking water in the Las Vegas Valley from a variety of sources.

Findings

The panel members have discovered that the dominating aroma in our water is from chlorine. Typically, panelists can only recognize the chlorine aroma in the finished water, with occasional references to a "dusty" or "musty" aroma, which is associated with the water's high mineral content. The panelists have described two other flavors attributable to the chlorine—"bitter" and "dry mouth feel." Our water tasters also described a chalky flavor and a saline mouth feel.

The panelists have tasted samples with particular water quality problems. They were able to pinpoint the water quality concern based on the flavor of the water. This demonstrates what a powerful tool flavor profile analysis is in troubleshooting and identifying trace levels of some contaminants.

The flavor panels also have detected other problems in blind tests, such as an algal bloom in a reservoir (described as "green" and "chlorophyll") and fresh PVC pipe installations (described as "plastic" and "PVC glue"). Our tasters noted that cold water samples have less chlorine aroma than those at room temperature, and samples exposed to the atmosphere de-gas chlorine rapidly.