Rotten Egg Smell / Sulphuric Smell
The rotten egg smell or sulfur smell in water is typically caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. While generally harmless in water, the smell tends to escape when a faucet is opened, which can be problematic.
Tthe smell is best treated BEFORE the water enters your home. This odor is obviously unpleasant and anyone who has lived with sulfur in his or her water already knows the smell too well. The human nose can detect sulfur at ½ ppm (parts per million): that’s the equivalent of a ½ teaspoon in 10 gallons of water!
Locally, customers range from a nominal amount of sulfide up to as much as 25 ppm. At these higher levels, the sulfide gas becomes corrosive. Clear Water Treatment, Inc. can treat the gas, reduce the smell and ensure that the gas doesn’t cause further problems.
How can I find the source of a hydrogen sulfide problem, and what can I do to eliminate it?
The odor of hydrogen sulfide gas can be detected in water at a very low level. Smell the water coming out of the hot and cold water faucets. Determine which faucets have the odor. The “rotten egg” smell will often be more noticeable from the hot water because more of the gas is vaporized. Your sense of smell becomes dulled quickly, so the best time to check is after you have been away from your home for a few hours. If the smell is only from the hot water faucet the problem is likely to be in the water heater.
If the smell is in both the hot and cold faucets, but only from the water treated by a water softener and not in the untreated water the problem is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the water softener.
If the smell is strong when the water in both the hot and cold faucets is first turned on, and it diminishes or goes away after the water has run, or if the smell varies through time the problem is likely to be sulfur bacteria in the well or distribution system.
If the smell is strong when the water in both the hot and cold faucets is first turned on and is more or less constant and persists with use the problem is likely to be hydrogen sulfide as in the groundwater.