What to Do If the Water in Your House Smells?

It is not uncommon for Sanur residents to complain of smelly water. Sometimes, this issue is apparent soon after moving into a property. In other cases, people come home from a holiday or extended business trip to find that their water is not quite as fresh as they’d expect. There are a few things you can do to troubleshoot water issues in your home.

Start at the Beginning

First thing’s first, you need to ascertain whether it’s the source (i.e. well water) or if it’s something in your system that’s causing the smell.  If your water has always smelled, and your neighbour’s water smells, then you probably have an issue with the source.  However, if the smell is new, or is isolated to your property, it is difficult to tell whether your source is contaminated or not.  Sometimes, only the water from a certain room, like one bathroom or the kitchen, smells.  In this case, it is more likely that there is an issue within the pipes.

Location, Location, Location

Some areas of Sanur (and Bali) have water that just smells. It can be caused by bacterial contamination or through heavy mineral (Sulfur) content in the water table. I have heard that land that was recently agricultural land (rice paddies) can often have water that smells, and the suggestion is that it has something to do with agricultural fertilisers and chemicals used.

Microbial Contamination

Microbial contamination of your water supply can present serious health concerns for you and your family, and we recommend bringing in a professional to test a sample from your source to determine any problems. There are one-off chemical treatments for microbial contamination of a source, you can also use carbon or UV filters and other technology such as aeration to help with the mineral balance and smell.

Construction and Depth of Your Well

Another aspect of supply is the depth and quality of your well. We often come across cases where the well was supposed to be 30 or 50 metres deep, but was in fact drilled to half the promised depth. It’s worth noting that deeper doesn’t necessarily mean better, there is generally a sweet spot and this can vary by location.

Smelly Water in the Pipes or Tank

Assuming the water from the source is fine, you probably have an issue within your system. If your house was left vacant for a while, the water could have not moved within the pipes for months. If you have a water tank, it could also have been infected by various microbes and even have had something literally fall in and die. In either case, flushing your system with chlorine type chemicals will help.

Work with Your Landlord

You should work with your property owner to solve issues with your water supply. Your contract should state that the owner is responsible for supply of water to the house, and they should be concerned that the water is not right and will often be able to help with the cost of any treatment or installation. If you worked with a property agent to find your property, you should also be able to get help from them.

Work with a Professional

Unfortunately, any cheap and cheerful methods used to clean the water like putting chlorine down the well or in the tank can cause other problems, such as all of your clothes turning the same shade grey. We recommend working with a professional water treatment company to get a quick and permanent solution. The first step is to get the water tested, understand what is causing the smell, and figure out where in your system the problem lies.

There are two companies we know of who serve the Sanur area. We have worked with Derk at BioMicrobe, now called Bio Control Bali:


Mob. # +6282144228492
Office # +623618707907

There is also BioSystems, although we haven’t yet worked with them and we can’t confirm they serve the residential market:


Any Advice?

Have you experienced problems with your water while living in Bali?  Let us know your experiences and tips by commenting below.

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