My water tastes/smells woody

Find out what causes your water to smell or taste woody, and what you can do about it

This type of taste or smell is particularly associated with black plastic pipework.

Black plastic (alkathene) water pipes were commonly used in the 1960s and 1970s. This material can sometimes create a ‘woody’ or pencil wood taste or smell to your water supply. This taste or odour is not harmful to health and can usually be reduced by running the taps for a few minutes to clear the water that has been standing in contact with the pipe material. However, replacing your supply pipe is the only permanent solution.

The water you run off does not have to be wasted and can be used for purposes other than drinking – such as watering plants.