In the design of foundations of structures, especially light buildings, on clayey soils, the main soil behaviours to be considered are swelling properties and surface heave. Therefore, determination of swelling properties by means of swell percent and maximum swell pressure as well as estimation of the surface is very important in the investigation of such soils and light structures on them. In order to obtain the swelling parameters of clayey soils, experimental laboratory tests were carried out and standardised. Distilled water is generally used during these experimental tests; however, the soil in situ interacts with different types of water having different water chemistries. Therefore, the swelling behaviour of expansive soils tested with distilled water would naturally be different from the behaviour of expansive soils tested with different water types and chemistries. For this reason, it was anticipated that determination of the realistic swell behaviour in laboratory experiments requires the use of the same water as in the in situ condition. In this article, the effect of the water type and chemistry on the swelling behaviour of the clays was investigated by testing the clay samples with eight different types of water collected from the sea, river, lake and different rock formations. The main result of this research was that the anticipated clay swell percentages and pressures for different types of water were lower than for the distilled water routinely used in testing.