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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Water - Rotten Egg Odor

    Hi,

    We recently purchased a new house in Northern Vermont that has well water. This is the first time we have well water with a house and we have noticed this smell of rotten eggs every time we turn on the water, no matter if its hot or cold. What can we do to get rid of this smell?

    Thanks,
    Audra

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sand Springs, OK
    Posts
    467

    Default Re: Water - Rotten Egg Odor

    Have the water tested then filter the water for those nasty compounds in the water.
    Debby in Oklahoma

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Water - Rotten Egg Odor

    Best bet is to get a whole house water treatment system that will remove the "sulfur smell" from the water and help cut down the rust color that i'm sure is already staining your toilets and baths.. your water will taste a little salty but should solve the problem.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: Water - Rotten Egg Odor

    We also have well water and noticed a bad smell with the hot water after our water heater was replaced. It turned out the Aluminum-Zinc anode rod in the water heater was reacting with the checmicals in the well water. We replaced the anode rod with an all aluminum anode rod, which the wather heater manufacturer actually recommended for cases of "smelly water" and the smell disappeared. This may help with your prolem, however, if you have the smell with both hot and cold it may be that your well needs to be shocked with chlorine as well. Hope this was helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Water - Rotten Egg Odor

    Quote Originally Posted by AJenkins View Post
    Hi,

    We recently purchased a new house in Northern Vermont that has well water. This is the first time we have well water with a house and we have noticed this smell of rotten eggs every time we turn on the water, no matter if its hot or cold. What can we do to get rid of this smell?

    Thanks,
    Audra
    Impossible to say from here what the cause/causes might be. But I'll try to offer a little info and advice.

    Do you have any iron or iron algae problems along with this odor? If so, you might have to chlorinate your well to resolve the situation. Might. It depends.

    Sulfur smells in well water can basically be caused by a couple of issues.

    1- The prescence of hydrogen sulfide gas in the raw water coming from the well. The best and only appropriate place to test for this is at the wellhead.

    2- The prescence of sulfur-reducing bacteria in the water. (pretty harmless to your health as bacteria go) These little critters can make it seem as though you have a huge problem when you really don't. While they prefer the warmer temps inside a water heater, they can become established in the cold lines also. The previous mention of swapping out a magnesium anode rod for an aluminum rod in the WH is sound...and frequently works to reduce or eliminate the problem there.

    Without more info than we have right now, I'll suggest that you consider shocking your well (shock disinfection) with some common chlorine bleach. You can Google your way to instructions as to how this is done. Since you will also be filling the WH And all the plumbing lines inside the house with this same solution, everything will get disinfected and consequently all those bacteria will be killed.

    While the bleach is circulating for an hour or so via the garden hose stuck down the well casing.....turn off your WH and drain it so that it will be fast to fill it with the solution when the time comes. (If you have an electric heater and fail to turn it off before you drain it...you'll instantly burn up the elements.) And don't forget to flush your toilets a couple times once the bleach solution is in the lines of the house. Also, run some of that thru any outdoor sillcocks, etc. You want the solution in every plumbing line.)

    It's going to take quite a while to flush all the bleach out of the lines once the time arrives which will be a few hours minimum after introducing the bleach to the lines. You'll likely be running water from all the faucets ,etc....for hours. Again, I suggest that you drain the WH of its bleachy contents before refilling because that will greatly speed up the flushing of the bleach taste and odor.

    I usually pump out the well itself..... all by itself. IOW, connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the pressure tank or an outdoor sillcock and run that until all bleachy taste and odor is gone before opening faucets inside the house. This makes for a much faster flsuhing of those lines.

    If you have a septic system, don't send all that bleach water into it. Do the well flushing by letting that water pump out to an appropriate outdoor location instead. If possible, do the same for the 40-50 gallons inside WH.

    The shocking of your well should remove all these sulfur smells for a period of time............or maybe for a long, long time.(years) Depends. If the odor returns immediately, then it's likely that you have hydrogen sulfide gas in your well water. there are treatment systems/strategies available for that. Which one you'd need to use.......depends.

    You can try the shock and see what you get for results or........you can get a water test first to determine what is or isn't present in the water. A water test is always a good idea because as a private well owner.........you are now your own water department and responsible for your own water supply and its quality/safety. I'd recommend that you get a test to include bacterial counts and types, nitrates, nitrites, pesticides, herbicides and a heavy metals test.

    There is some good info here, albeit basic ..it's still a good place to start understanding the various types of potential water problems and what you can do about it.

    http://www.goodwaterco.com/watereducation/comprob.htm

    Before buying any kind of expensive treatment equipment, I'll suggest you get that water test done. That because if you have a couple or several issues to deal with, the type of equipment and approach may vary.

    Your local well driller should offer water testing services .....or....even your county or municipality may offer testing services......maybe for free. (already paid for by your tax dollars)
    Last edited by goldhiller; 03-31-2008 at 12:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Water - Rotten Egg Odor

    i got this from a technology site, even though of course it's a sales site, saying that "There are many ways to remove iron and/or sulfur (rotten egg smell) from your water. These methods include Birm Filters, Manganese Greensand Filters, KDF Filters, Pyrolox Filters, Carbon Filters, Ozonation Systems, OXY-MAX Air Injection Systems, and many others. To properly recommend the best system for the application generally depends on the specifics of the water quality and individual application". maybe it's time to give google a try - -Fishfool @ The Reef Tank

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