Most people probably know the smell of a rotten egg when you have one. But it can be especially awful when you pour some water only to notice the pungent odor.
When your well water smells like rotten egg, you should determine the source of the smell so that you can get rid of it. But why would the water smell terrible in the first place?
Why Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs
The main reason why your well water smells like rotten egg is that it contains hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide isn’t always harmful if you consume it, but it can make your water smell like eggs, and it can also affect the taste of your water.
But even though the chemical isn’t bad for you, you probably want to get rid of the smell. To do that, you should understand how hydrogen sulfide makes it into your water supply.
Sulphur Smell In Water : How Hydrogen Sulfide Gets Into Water
Hydrogen sulfide gas can make your water smell and taste bad, especially as a gas. When the gas encounters minerals or organic materials, it can get into the ground and, therefore, the groundwater.
As the groundwater travels into your well, it will bring the hydrogen sulfide with it. When the well water makes its way to your house, so will the rotten egg smell.
Hydrogen sulfide can also develop in the water when sulfate mixes with some types of bacteria. And if you’re wondering why my hot water smells like rotten egg, warm water allows the gas to release more quickly, so it can smell worse than cold water.
Where It’s Common
You’ll find hydrogen sulfide more often in groundwater than surface water because the gas can get out of the water through the surface. So depending on the well where you get your water, the gas might not have much of a chance to escape.
If that’s the case, once it reaches your house, it will have a chance to get out of the water. Then, you’ll probably notice the well water smells like rotten egg.
Does the Smell Cause Health Problems?
At high levels, hydrogen sulfide can cause issues, but it’s not typically a problem. Still, you should try to let the gas into the air so that it doesn’t stay in your water.
You can vent the gas out into the atmosphere, but make sure that it doesn’t get into small spaces where it can do a lot of damage. If you find that you have a hydrogen sulfide problem, you can have a professional test the water to be sure.
Then, you can follow the right steps to get rid of the hydrogen sulfide so that your water is healthy and doesn’t have any weird smell or taste.
How to Get Rid of Rotten Egg Smell in Water
Depending on how the hydrogen sulfide got into the water and what it affects, you can do a few things to get rid of the smell. If you don’t know what’s causing the smell, ask yourself a few questions.
First, consider if the smell occurs in cold water or not. If you’re thinking, my hot water smells like rotten egg, but not the cold water, your water heater could be the problem. The hydrogen sulfide could be collecting in your water heater and thus releasing the gas when you use hot water.
If your hot and cold water both release the rotten egg smell, run the faucet for a few minutes. After a few minutes, the smell might go away, which means the well system is the issue. On the other hand, groundwater can cause the problem if the smell persists.
You might also notice that some faucets have the smell and others don’t. If you have a water softener with some of your faucets, that could be the cause of the rotten smell. Once you determine what is causing the smell, you can choose the right method to correct the problem.
A water filter is the best option for when all sources of water have a rotten egg smell. You can install a water filter to block out the hydrogen sulfide, and it can make your water taste and smell better.
Popular options include activated carbon filters as well as oxidizing media filtration. Activated carbon filters are better for smaller concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, but oxidizing filters work with larger concentrations as well. You can also combine a water filter with other methods if it doesn’t fully resolve the issue.
If you find that your well water smells like rotten eggs, you can use chlorine to disinfect the well. You should see how much sulfur has built up in the well because you may need to hire someone to scrub the well before using the chlorine.
Once it’s time to disinfect your well, you can do it, or you can hire a professional. Either way, be careful when getting into the well. After you clean the well with chlorine, the problem should resolve itself, but you may need to be patient.
Since hydrogen sulfide stays more in groundwater than surface water, letting your water air out can help with the smell. If possible, try to vent the water supply as it sits in the well or goes into your home.
And if the water smells bad when it first comes out of the faucet, you can let the water run until the smell goes away. However, that solution can take time and waste water, so it’s not the best option.
When your well water smells like rotten egg, you won’t want to drink it or use it for anything. Whether you have the problem all of the time or only with hot water, you should know how to get rid of the smell.
Doing that means getting rid of the hydrogen sulfide gas that is in your water. Luckily, you can try multiple solutions, such as a water filter or aeration. Then, you can find which option works best for you and your water.