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There has been a deterioration in UK tapwater quality since privatisation. Oldfashioned municipally-owned water was of good industrial quality, sometimes a little overchlorinated (though some plants used tasteless ozone) but containing no live organic matter. Thanks to the European Union rules on competition and water quality, it now has only to be potable, so most of it contains brown algae that are not harmful to human health but clog up machinery and cause untold economic damage (except to the water companies, of course).
Some new plastic pipes in our house left the water with a distinct taste. Running the water for a few seconds before filling a cup resolved that problem.
If you have a high lead content in your water it is recommended by the Drinking Water Inspectorate that you should: refrain from drinking water that has been left standing in the pipes for more than a few hours. Draw off a washing-up bowl full of water to clear out the water (if your lead pipework is longer than 40 metres you will have to draw off more water);