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We have moved into a house in the country with a well. Shortly after moving in, we began to smell an egg smell in our water as it comes out of the tap. I read elsewhere that this is an aeration problem in the water supply, but no advice was given for a homeowner to remedy this. Any solutions out there?
Rebecca from North Branch, MN
The odor is caused by minerals in your water. The "egg" smell is sulpher. If your dishes and clothes turn orange when you wash them, you have iron, also. This does not mean your water is bad or unsafe, but you should put a filter on your well, preferably between the pump and the holding tank. You may also buy a filter that fits right on the cold water faucet of your kitchen sink, but will still have the odor in the shower, washing machine, etc. We have many minerals in our well water, so we have a large filter at the holding tank, and another filter on the cold water in the kitchen. It is a PUR filter, and you can't filter hot water with it, but it swings down to filter cold water, and then when not in use it flips up and out of the way. You can find these filters at Lowe's, Home Depot, and Walmart. If you are confused with all the different filters available, ask someone to help you. The Pur filters for the kitchen faucet are the easiest to install, so you might want to begin to solve your problem in that area to have more palatible water for drinking and cooking.
Harlean from Arkansas
It is definitely sulpher. Bought a brand new house, new well, etc. First night there, rotton egg smell. We bought an under the house filtration system for $2000. A charcoal filtration system that backwashes is the ONLY way to eliminate it before it comes in the home. But if you can stand the smell, it is perfectly safe to use and drink. If you run some in a glass and let it sit for about 30 minutes, you will find that the smell will evaporate. Chloryne is a short term cure and will make your skin EXTREMELY dry. Ifyou would like more info, please email me and I can give you the website and name of the guy who fixed my situation. I feel for you and I hope this helps. Sherry
I'm assuming you mean "rotten eggs" not eggs. Does it smell like a hot spring? if so (rotten eggs) it's SULFUR. The first site below says there are several ways of ways sulfur can get into your well: THERE ARE 2 KINDS: SULFATE & Hydrogen Sulfide. They can come from:
---> Pipe Corrosion, Mineral Scale, Microbiological Regrowth, and can cause Taste and Odor Problems.
If you have an infant or a small child, I'd suggest you only give them bottled water until you get this figured out!
THIS site below has the most information: (this is where I got the top information below)
Wilkes University Center for Environmental Quality Environmental Engineering and Engineering Department
---> POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS:
Sulfate may have a laxative effect that can lead to dehydration and is of special concern for infants. With time, people and young livestock will become acclimated to the sulfate and the symptoms disappear. Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria pose no known human health risk.
#2 HYDROGEN SULFIDE
Hydrogen sulfide is flammable and poisonous. Usually it is not a health risk at concentrations present in household water, except in very high concentrations. While such concentrations are rare, hydrogen sulfide's presence in drinking water when released in confined areas has been known to cause nausea, illness and, in extreme cases, death. Water with hydrogen sulfide alone does not cause disease. In rare cases, however, hydrogen sulfide odor may be from sewage pollution which can contain disease-producing contaminants. Therefore, testing for bacterial contamination and Sulfate Reducing Bacteria is highly recommended.
health effects of sulfur in your water:
WHY IS HYDROGEN SULFIDE IN MY WATER?
Household Water Quality: Hydrogen Sulfide in Household Water
Well Water Testing Frequently Asked Questions
CDC FACT SHEET: Contaminants in Well Water
There are many Do-It-Yourself at home kits, I suggest you buy one that tests for sulfur & other contaminates that can affect your family or call your local county Health Department for answers, They may even test your well for you (or at least steer you in towards a reputable company who can do the testing).
If you have an ice maker in your freezer, make sure to use a filter on your ice maker!
only one person told you to check your Hot WATER HEATER... there's a rod in there and when it gets so much hard water build up on it,it smells like a rotten egg.my son is a plumber and our water heater did the same thing,he came out and replaced the long bar and we have sweet water again.no $2000.water filter was necessary.don't just assume you have sulpher in your water until you have it tested..check with your nearest neighbor and see what his water is like before you spend thousands of dollars.we have well water also and it's really good and clear for being in the Arizona Desert where every one else except for 2 houses has really hard water.
my mother had the same problem..quote was $4800 for a system for the entire house. check with Lowes, etc. on a system for your house or check their/home depot first.
If it's happening all the time, like months, my advice
isn't important. If just primarily in the winter, it could be what the city here calls "Algae Bloom" causing the water source to taste "skunky" and like dirt. They told me there's no cause for alarm, and to wait it out.
Second year, it did the same thing about late Fall.
This year, I noticed the city water dept. digging up
water lines all over the community and we haven't had the problem. So, your guess with this info is as good as mine! Do you have any natural springs around your property? My friend who had a cattle
ranch with farm house on it got wonderful fresh water from her natural springs. Perhaps you could search for one there? God bless and keep you. : )
Ok here's the skinny....I'm a 15 year veteran in water treatment, all in public water systems. The sulfur smell is likely isolated to your hot water. That can be traced back to the water heater. All water from wells contains some sort of sulfur compounds, some more than others. When the water gets heated, there is often times a reaction with the magnesium "anti corrosion" rod inside the water heater. That reaction causes the dissolved sulfur compounds to become a gas, and thats where you get the smelly water. The best course of action, run your hot water until it goes cold. That's a quick fix. A long term fix, remove the anti corrosion rod, either replace it with an aluminum rod or just remove it all together (assuming your water isn't very corrosive). Chlorinating the well will work too, but that's only if you have access to your private well. Good luck to you all :)
Add bleach to your well. Chlorox is suitable. I had the same issue and added one quart for my well that is about two hundred feet deep and four inches in diameter.
I recently moved into a house with its own well and the tap smelled like boiled eggs. I called a friend of mine, who is a plumber, and he said to add a gallon of bleach directly into the well, let it sit for about 8 hours or overnight then run the water in all the faucets for 15 minutes before using it. It helps clean the well and all the pipes that run from it. But do not use straight chlorine because over time, 6 months to a year, it will begin to destroy your copper pipes. This really helped me and I hope it helps you also. Good luck.
We also had the rotten egg smell when we bought our house in 2000. We removed the rod from the hot water heater and the smell was gone. Now, 11 years later, it's baa-ack! It's horrible and the water even has a foul taste. We don't drink it! I'm ready to try the bleach method.
However the [Stark County, Ohio] health department recommends a far more invasive and lengthy procedure than those mentioned here. Any thoughts on whether the simple gallon of bleach method is just as effective as priming and flushing?