The Basics

Why Does My Well Water Suddenly Smell Like Sulfur?


At times, you may notice sulfur’s smell in your healthy well water. It happens because sulfur has broken down and released hydrogen sulfide gas. Sometimes people say that the water is smelling like rotten eggs. In most cases, rotten eggs are not found in groundwater, so the smell comes from the reactions. A well is a water source for many people, and such smell is a common occurrence in well water. If your well water smells like sulfur, you should opt for water treatment services.

What Causes the Sulphur Smell in Well Water?

The main reason for the smell is sulfur bacteria or hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur bacteria are found in environments that lack oxygen, like deep wells. You’ll also find such issues in areas having plumbing systems and organic matter. In case you get the smell of sulfur from a hot water tap, the water heater could be the problem. We’ve also seen such bad smells in the water heater, and it’s because of the magnesium rod and aluminum used inside the heater. In all these cases, you’ll see hydrogen sulfide gas production that causes the sulfur smell.

What Can You Do About Well Water That Smells?

The recommended way is to have the well tested to ensure correct water levels, especially with bacteria and chemicals. It helps you to have clean drinking water from your well. When you identify the source of hydrogen sulfide or sulfur bacteria, it is advisable to ensure proper ventilation; it will help the gas escape.

If the problem is your water heater, consult a professional to handle the magnesium anode. Another alternative would be to flush chlorine bleach solution in the heater system. You can add a water filtration system to eliminate any impurities like sulfur bacteria, especially when the water source is a well.

Ways To Improve Your Drinking Water

When you have smelly water you can use a water filter and eliminate any impurities from your drinking water. Look for the best RO systems or companies that offer filtration services and offer the proper guidance. You will be surprised how many bacteria a water treatment process can eliminate. Water filtration water coolers can remove up to 90 percent of the bacteria and the rotten egg odor. Despite where the sulfur smell is coming from, follow these steps to eliminate the odor:

Step 1

● First, you need to check on the smell and the source from the well or hot water. The recommendation is to run the tap and check if there are any smells. When you notice sulfur’s smell, it could be hydrogen sulfide gas. When it smells like oil, it may be because of manganese.

● Run your hot water from the taps when you notice the smell. Sulfates like iron found in water can interact with anode rods in the heaters. When you change the anode rod to an aluminum rod, it will help solve the problem. It will stop producing hydrogen sulfide gas, consequently, the smell of sulfur. Please note, when you are having issues with your well water, you’ll need to hire an expert who can treat your water professionally. You can speak to your friends or other family members for a water treatment service agency near your location and within your budget in such cases.

● When that process is not convenient, look for a water-heater odor killer to remove the smell. You can use hydrogen peroxide to kill the smell. In the end, this gives out clean drinking water.

Step 2

● The next step is checking if the smell is from a water heater and the different ways to eliminate the smell. The best way to do that is by testing the water when there is an odor problem, working on knowing the source.

● In case your water source is the public system and smells are in cold water, contact the water utility for their guideline. If the source is the well, you need to have a water analysis to know the suitable treatment method to sort the problem.

● The test done includes an analysis of minerals like manganese and iron. Other tests help to know about include tannin, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfate.

The sample test needs to be done close to the well, and it will help understand the proper water treatment depending on the water chemistry. The well water needs testing to remove e-coli and coliform as this is a health requirement. Since children and others will be drinking the water, you also need to do a bacteriological, metals, and mineral test.

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