Four Swiss towns complain of weird-smelling yellowish water in taps

Four Swiss towns complain of weird-smelling yellowish water in taps

Four towns in Canton Vaud in Switzerland have been complaining about the quality of their water. Although drinkable, the water coming out of taps is yellowish, foul-smelling and tastes awful, according to locals. 

Swiss towns near Lake Geneva suffer from poor water quality

Since August 2019, the residents of Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne, Etagnières, Boussens and Bussigny have been complaining about their water supply. Locals are taking issue with the taste, smell and look of the water, with many choosing to buy bottled water instead. 

According to authorities, the problem with the utility has now been traced to an issue with the water supply around Lausanne. The four towns have been forced to draw water from the city since 2019, after their local water sources were infected with maligned chlorothalonil - a form of bacteria.

Water quality problems near Lausanne caused by rust

Unfortunately, the water from Lake Geneva that replaced the local source has a higher pH level, meaning the pipes that supply the towns have started to erode and drop rust into the water. While it is still drinkable, surveyors from the government said the liquid coming out of taps has five times the iron content of normal drinking water, which is why it tastes so bad.

To solve the issue, the council has decided to modify the pH back down to normal levels by adding a small amount of sodium hydroxide, which should get rid of the rust. City officials say the problem should be fixed by the autumn.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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