It is easy to take clean drinking water for granted. Those of us who have access to clean water that comes directly out of the tap in the kitchen sink probably just assume that everybody is in the same situation. But that is not actually the case.
For the most part and in most places, tap water is drinkable. However, it depends on your circumstances, and it’s not really the most reliable thing in the world. There are certain signs of danger that you do need to be on the lookout for.
It doesn’t make a huge difference to a lot of people because there are alternatives. They are mainly in the form of bottled water, and tap water is primarily used for cleaning. Like when it comes to food, that’s the main purpose of tap water.
But there are a couple of exceptions to that. If you are a fan of making soups or stews, tap water is essential. However, perhaps we haven’t thought about the fact that tap water makes up the main consistency of these dishes.
And the quality of the water can 100% contribute to the taste. It can overwhelm any other flavour that you have included. People often end up with a soup that doesn’t taste good and can’t figure out why that is.
Let’s look at a few of the elements of tap water that contribute to poor taste:
We associate chlorine with swimming pools. Most of us are aware of its very distinctive smell. that you can always get when you’re near the pool. It’s used as a way to make sure that the pool water is as clean as possible.
And the same logic can be applied to your tap water. It’s something that is often fed into the water supply so that tap water can be drinkable. There are a few different types of chlorine. However, the kind that’s used in the pool generally won’t be used in your drinking water.
This is why tap water doesn’t smell or taste like pool water (not that you should know what pool water tastes like). But it can still have some effect, depending on how much of it has been used in your area’s water.
The thing about chlorine is that it’s highly effective in controlling the growth of bacteria and various harmful organisms. However, depending on how prevalent that is, more chlorine might be necessary.
And the more of it there is, the more likely you are to deal with bad tasting water. While it can lead to some mild issues such as nausea and headaches, chlorine probably isn’t going to do any serious damage. But it might be a reason why your soup tastes funny.
This one is typically much more noticeable, especially when the water gets boiled. You may have also heard it referred to as ‘hard water'. It is caused by the water running through porous rock such as chalk and limestone.
It picks up tiny little fragments of various minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Then, when the water is left to stand after boiling these will solidify to form limescale.
It’s a thick, white, chalky substance. If you take a look inside your kettle you’ll probably see quite a bit of it building up around the bottom and on the sides. Limescale can actually be a huge problem for your appliances. This is why it is important to learn how to thoroughly clean your kettle.
It can clog up the inside of our taps and dishwashers can cause them to malfunction or stop working entirely. So, you should aim to prevent the buildup of it. But it is important to remember that it can also affect the taste.
It has this sort of chalky and bland taste that will permeate into your soup. You will also probably find little lumps of it floating around in your food. That makes for a rather unpleasant texture too.
These are the two things that are most likely going to cause taste issues, but what can you do to prevent it?
The most obvious and probably the easiest solution is to just invest in a good water filter. You have a few different options depending on your personal preferences and also what your budget can account for.
Some water filters are just jugs that you fill with tap water that is subsequently filtered. This is an entirely inexpensive option and it’s fine for most people. Though the downsides are that it takes a few minutes for the filtration to take effect. Moreover, you have to change the filters every few weeks.
If you want a more effective and more permanent solution, there are UV filters and combination filters. These can be installed directly into your plumbing system. The best versions of these will clear up any bacteria and contaminants and will prevent excess chlorine or limescale.
If you just want a more targeted solution for limescale you could also invest in a descaler. You can get it attached to the pipe. This will soften the water and get rid of all those elements before they have a chance to solidify.
In short, there’s a good chance that you’re not satisfied with the taste of your homemade soups and stews because of the tap water. It's not simply because you are bad at cooking - so do check out your tap water's quality!
If you want to eliminate the problem and start enjoying homemade soup and stew again, we suggest looking into some of these filters or descalers and your water will taste great in no time.