How to Get Rid of Sulfur When Well Water Smells

Sulphur is one of the most common well water contaminants, and can cause bad odors and tastes in drinking water. Hydrogen sulfide gas is the source of sulfur smells and tastes in your water, so if you can smell or taste it, then you

You should definitely avoid drinking water that smells like rotten eggs. You don’t want to deal with the foul smell of hydrogen sulfide, and there are many ways to get rid of it, Hydrogen sulfide, also known as rotten egg smell, is the chemical that gives your house a foul odor when it starts to rot.+

Why Does My Well Water Smell Like Sulfur?

When your water takes on a rotten egg odor, the culprit might be either leaching into your well from sulfur-rich compounds in the ground or sulfur from the decaying eggs in your well water. If you’re interested in using a solar system, a water filter is a must. You want to remove the naturally-occurring impurities from your water.

Shale-drilled wells are notorious for producing a sulfurous odor. In addition to this unpleasant smell, they can leak or produce water containing high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and other hazardous compounds. This makes them particularly dangerous.

Hydrogen sulfide can also build up inside your hot water heater, which can cause it to smell like rotten eggs. This typically happens when you haven’t used your water heater in a while and sulfate-producing bacteria are left to accumulate in your hot water.

If your water softener uses a magnesium rod to soften the water, a rotten egg odor may develop as a result. It’s not normal for soft water to enter your water heater and break down magnesium, but if it does, the result is often high levels of hydrogen sulfide in your water.

Causes of Rotten Egg Smell

If your water smells like rotten eggs, it’s most likely caused by sulfur bacteria or natural organic decay.

Sulfur Bacteria

Coliform bacteria that live in soil usually eat sulfur for food or energy. Here’s how to get rid of the smell and produce your own sulfuric acid without having to do anything. If your drinking water has a rotten egg smell, it’s likely that sulfur bacteria is to blame.

Natural Decay in the Ground

Another common cause of a sulfur rotten egg smell is a reaction of natural chemicals and decay of the ground. This means that the gas can go into the ground to your well and be carried into your home through the water supply.

Effects of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas

Though tiny amounts of sulfur are harmless, drinking water with a high hydrogen sulfide content may cause diarrhea and dehydration. People generally don’t want to drink sulfur water if they’re sick, so it’s best to wait and see how your body tolerates the mineral.

In addition to helping your skin stay healthy, sulfur will also improve your skin’s appearance by removing dead skin cells, giving your skin a clean, smooth and healthy look. If you want to get rid of the unpleasant water smell, try washing with a bleach / chlorine free laundry detergent.

Aside from being unsafe to drink, sulfur bacteria can encourage the growth of slimy, thick iron bacteria. Iron is often found in the soil. It can cause rust, which creates corrosion and affects water flow. It can cause blockages in water pipes and fixtures and affect water flow.

Sulfur corrodes iron and steel, which are common materials found in water pipes. Black marks are a normal part of home cleaning, but if you’re cleaning regularly, then black marks on your silverware or other metal items could indicate that your detergent is either hard to remove or ineffective.

How to Detect the Issue

When you think your water contains hydrogen sulfide gas, you usually notice an obvious smell. It smells like a rotten egg. But the rotten egg smell of your well water may mean that your water is laced with sulfates even if it doesn’t smell. This rotten egg smell is actually an indication of how much hydrogen sulfide is in your water supply.

The best way to see if your household water supply contains hydrogen sulfide is to test for it. There are many water testing kits that can be used to detect contaminants in your well water, including iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide.

These tests are affordable, usually cost less than $20, and will indicate within minutes which pollutants are present in your water. Water that smells of rotten eggs, smells like sulfur, is black, or turns blue after being poured into an aerated container is likely sulfur water.

When you have a question, it’s good to have a sample of water in your home to compare to your own water. It’s important to test both your hot and cold water to determine where your hydrogen sulfide gas is coming from.

Take a testing strip that measures the amount of iron, lead, mercury and other contaminants in the water and dips it into each sample. You may need to do this periodically to get the full picture of what’s in your well water. When the strips start to change color, stop using them.

This is a good time to inspect your water heaters, as they could be causing your hot water sample to change color, but your cold water is unchanged. The issue is probably coming from there. If both samples indicate hydrogen sulfide, you might be dealing with a hydrogen sulfide issue in your well.

There are many reasons why you should have a home water test done. It will help you find out what kind of H2S is in your water, where it’s coming from, and if it’s coming from your well, your water heater, or both.

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How to Get Rid of Sulfur in Water Well

Once you understand the cause of your water’s sulfide odors, you can take action to get rid of it from your water supply. Hydrogen sulfide gas is a common source of foul odors in drinking water. To eliminate hydrogen sulfide gas, you can use any of the three methods below.

Oxidizing Media Filters

A filter that removes hydrogen sulfide gas from a gas stream is made of manganese dioxide that traps sulfur particles as it turns the gas into an insoluble form. This type of filter also oxidizes iron, so if you’ve been struggling with it for a long time, this is probably why.

You may also see an oxidizing media filter called air injection treatment or aeration treatment. A misting system is a very effective form of purification, as it uses water and carbon dioxide to reduce contaminants. This system requires a potassium permanganate solution for regeneration.

Chemical Treatment

Chemical treatment can reduce the levels of hydrogen sulfide in water, but it won’t remove it completely. In addition, chemical treatment can damage your plumbing and septic systems. Hydrogen peroxide reacts with hydrogen sulfide and eliminates its bad odors.

Other methods such as hydrogen peroxide and chlorine bleach can also be used to treat water containing high iron and manganese levels, and can disinfect water supplies. The most effective and affordable way to kill bacteria in your drinking water is to use chlorine chemicals to disinfect it.

This new well pump from American Water Works eliminates the guesswork of adding chemicals to water wells. It’s designed to adjust the levels of water in your well automatically. A typical chlorine system will store chlorinated water in a tank before sending it to the pipes in your home.

This takes a long time for the chlorine bleach chemical reaction to take place, effectively eliminating the bad bacteria. Every water that goes into your tap comes directly from your well. It never comes through a lake, river or ocean.

Activated Carbon Filters

Water treatment systems can use activated carbon to remove sulfur compounds in water. If your water source is not in a place where it is easily accessible and filtered by a separate unit, then this type of filter can be installed at your home’s point of entry. Your plumbing, pipes, and heaters will receive clean, pleasant-smelling water.

An activated carbon filter removes sulfates and other contaminants from water. It works by using the process of adsorption. When water passes through the activated carbon filtration media, it draws the hydrogen sulfates, which stick to the media’s surface.

Most filters trap particles of dirt and debris inside their filter, but they also create something else that’s even worse: chlorine! Chlorine is a strong oxidizing agent that will kill your water and change its taste. This is how you get your water to taste bad.

This kind of carbon filter is generally paired with another stage of whole-home filtration or a reverse osmosis system, which is also capable of reducing bacteria and other pathogens and can remove a broad range of contaminants from water.

Sulfur in Well Water FAQs

What are the most common signs of sulfur in well water?

Aside from smelling like sulfur in your home, you may also notice dark stains on your clothes, rust in your pipes, and staining of your appliances if they have been stored or used in water containing sulfates.

Will a water softener remove sulfur from well water?

There are two primary reasons why water softeners are designed to reduce water hardness: they don’t remove sulfate particles and they’re not capable of doing so. A water softener is essential for any pool or spa and performs a vital function. However, in high-sulfate water, the water softener can become clogged and blocked, and may not work as effectively.

Many water softeners are actually made from lead or zinc. This results in more sulfate production, which means that you may need to buy more treatment chemicals from your supplier if you install a water softener.

What is the best method of sulfur removal?

It all depends on what you’re looking for. Ask yourself what you want from a sulfate removal treatment. If you only want to eliminate the sulfate smell from your laundry, and nothing else, try one of the sulfate free detergent options.

If you have a high concentration of bacteria, or high levels of iron, you might be interested in solutions that can get these contaminants out of your body. Your budget will be somewhat of an influence on what you can purchase for your water. There’s no cheap solution, with most treatments costing at least a couple of hundred dollars, and most requiring regular paid maintenance.

While you may have to spend a relatively big upfront investment, it’s for your own good, so it’s a worthwhile means of spending your money.

How often should I be testing for sulfates in wells?

Your well water may have a bad smell or taste, but that’s not a tell-tale sign that something is wrong. Because low sulfur levels aren’t usually detectable by humans, it’s more important to test privately owned wells. Aside from sulfur, you should also test for other contaminants that commonly occur in well water, including bacteria, iron and arsenic.

What happens if my heater is the cause of the rotten egg smell?

Don’t do this! Magnesium anodes are important parts of many electric kettles. An aluminum rod or a heated rod will do the job. It’s best to replace the whole heater if it’s really old, though.

Where can I find more advice?

Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for more details about your well. Your doctor or pharmacist should have the website address for the local Department of Health. Some people feel more comfortable working directly with someone who lives or works in their area, and that is the best course of action.

Well inspections aren’t just for wells that supply water. You can also get them for wells that are used for oil or gas drilling.

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