I was happy with it at first. Although more expensive than other water filtrations systems, I did not mind because I liked the way the water tasted.

After about 30-45 days usage, I noticed a foul fish like smell in my kitchen. I cleaned out the fridge and cabinets and the odor remained. I narrowed it down to the Zero Water so I changed the filter. Everything was fine for about 3-4 weeks.

Then the odor returned.

I bought 2 more filters from Amazon.com because they offered them at a reduced price. Even with the reduced price they were expensive and not worth it!

I am going to return it.

Review about: Zerowater Filter.

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Casper, Wyoming, United States #1283360

After purchasing the Zero Water system( 10 cup pitcher) the water on the very first fill tasted very bitter almost acid like.

I thought this was not normal, so I replaced filter and got the same bad taste. Hope I can return it for a refund. Need to find a replacement.


Fishy nastiness! It took two weeks with the first filter and three weeks with the second.

I'm out over $100. We are back to bottled water. Don't waste your money. Oh, the tester that comes with it.

Try putting it in different liquids, the light may not come on!

Hahaha. Junk, stinky junk!

to Anonymous #1127284

i've gone thru 2 filters, but only after 3 months did i change to 3rd due to my son complaining of tuna fish smell- in process i lifted tank to discover slime on bottom of filter and in tank- which is the same thing with brita and the reason i switched. The key here is that algae builds up on the bottom of the pitcher where it attaches and continues to multiply, as it is not being "flushed out" between refills.

I learned this earlier in my wife's 3 cat bowls so that I had to CLEAN the bowls- not merely refill- after a WEEK.

I solved this by adding 2-3 drops peroxide with each refill. I hesitate to do this with zero until I can do safely and will call zero today for their opinion, BUT IT IS NOT THE SOLIDS causing the problem as much as the residual algae, which may not be filtered out, or which comes from the air, or which escapes filtering by zero.


i just bought this filled only once and now it tastes like lemons this is a bad product don't buy i have 23 cup pitcher i will call in the morning i hope nobody gets sick


Yes, of course changing the filter is imperative but if you have to do it after only a week to 2 weeks of use, it becomes very costly and annoying. I don't think it's worth the $$.


Whether it's the filter polymer or bacteria, it still stinks! We have hard well water and we need to have some way of getting better drinking water.

I'll have to weigh the pros, cons and costs of either continuing as we are with the Zero Water vs.

a whole-house filtration/softening system; or, a home delivery water service. Very disappointing.

Enterprise, Alabama, United States #916341

Mine taste like a dirty fish tank after 4 weeks. My husband says it must have polymer in the filter.

He used to haul it to water treatment plants.

It stunk so bad like dead fish and was very slick. They nick named it elephant snot.


I have been using PUR for as long as I could remember but about 5 months ago I got a Soma water filter and love it!

There are a couple things that really makes Soma stand out for me besides how yummy the water tastes and how gorgeous it looks on my dinning room table.

The first nice thing about this filter is you don't need to go to the store when your filter is old!

Soma sends you a new water filter to your house every two months automatically so it saves you time.

Another thing that I especially like about Soma over PUR is that the actual filter is made out of biodegradable material and then the carafe is made out of surprisingly strong glass (I dropped it at least twice and it was perfectly fine!) which makes it eco-friendly and sustainable.

Since it is made out of glass you can wash it in your dishwasher making the lifespan of the Soma that much longer. The fact that is a more eco-friendly filter was/is a hugeeee bonus for me being and makes me love Soma that much more.

Check out their website if your interested just search drinksoma


Jim from NuWater USA Resin Manufacture

Anion exchange resins, especially strong base anion exchange resins in the hydroxide form, may emit odors such as a dead fish smell. The main cause is release of very low levels of amines from the resin (trimethylamine for type I strong base resins).

The amines are released due to slight de-amination of the resin by the Hofmann's reaction. This is the primary degradation mechanism for anion exchange resins. Higher temperature will accelerate the rate of resin de-amination, as will allowing the resin to dehydrate (become dry). Amines, such as trimethylamine, have a very low odor threshold (5 ppb) and will be smelled at levels well below the hazardous limits established by regulatory agencies.

Trimethylamine is also released by decomposing fish, hence the association of the resin odor with a dead fish.

A type 2 Anion rinsed with high purity DI is suited beter for drinking water applacations and do not give off a dead fish smell. Check out nuwaterusa.com or like us on facebook.


I have noticed the same thing. We have had our zero water water cooler for a few years.

After some time we also noticed the fish thing and narrowed it down to the cooler. Personally, I have no sense of smell so I can't smell it unless it gets real bad. My family says it doesn't affect the taste...but the smell trips them up. We found that it only stinks when the filter needs to be changed.

It's a great reminder, really, because otherwise...we would never change the filters at all! Once we change the filters we clean out the entire unit and drain all the stinky water still in it. We refill with clean tap water and flush it out. It solves the problem.

It sounds like a lot of work...but you're doing it pretty much already when you put new filters on.

I still love my cooler. I'm willing to do the extra work.

London, Ontario, Canada #674539

ME TOO, I opened the tank and found there to be slime all around the filter - slippery and frog-pond stinky. OBVIOUSLY the filter allows for micro-organisms to go through or multiply in it...

MAN, that`s a sure way to ruin a decent gin on the rocks, using that water...

there MUST be a fix the co. has.

to Anonymous Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States #714947

Read Hintonian's post below... not true, it is the resin in the filter breaking down.

to Anonymous Tucson, Arizona, United States #735189

I too had the same problem, and I called Zero Water direct and voiced my concerns. The very nice & professional representative explained the problem and sent me a new filter free of charge. I am very happy that they stand by their product, and will continue to use their products.

to Anonymous #735381

These are not bloody micro-orginisms... it is a fishy smelling substance formed when the resin (filter material) breaks down chemically. The black stuff is charcoal which is another filter material.

Buffalo, New York, United States #653177

Not only does the water stink like fish, it gave me a headache too.There was black stuff floating on the bottom of the pitcher. I will Never use zero water ever again. I would rather drink the water right out of the tap With All of the contaminates in it.

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States #631069

The fishy smell you smell after you have had a filter for a while is the break down of the resin inside the filter, NOT bacteria. When the resin breaks down and a byproduct is an amine which smells fishy.

If your filters are only lasting a week or two you probably have higher than normal water usage, or higher than normal contaminates in your water supply. If the latter is the problem, if you want to get pure drinking water from your tap you need to consider a higher volume filtration system.

Atascadero, California, United States #628066

I too have had the fish problem after 2 weeks of use. I don't care what the filter changers say.Or what the intructions say. That is bacteria and algae growing in the filter that gives it that fishy smell.I don't need a meter to tell me bacteria has started growing from day one.I'm guessing good concept, bad design.

to KimK Denver, Colorado, United States #669869

The fishy smell is the cracking of the resin due to use, not bacteria.

Cottage Grove, Minnesota, United States #609713

We received the zero water filter for a xmas gift and have used 4 filters and the water stinks like dead fish after a weeks use,What is the problem ?Is that how they work"


Hollins *** me. Ive had this thing for 14 days and the water tastes like lemons/metal.

When I sit down the filter on the white plastic, grey water seeps out, not crystal clear.

It is not lazyness when the meter jumps 200 overnight. There is obviously a problem with this product, and I wont be using it anymore-but I think you most definatly should.

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