Why Does My Water Smell Like Rotten Eggs?


We just moved into a new house our problem is the smell of our water and drains. It smells like rotten eggs. The washer is gross too, every time I wash clothes they either smell like rotten eggs while washing or the machine does. It is very gross. Taking a shower is also smelly. We don't have hard water and tried that with dish soap and water. Please help.

Jillann from Belleville, IL



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By Anna, Iceland (Guest Post) 10/02/2008

I live in Iceland, were all hot water smells of rotten eggs, i.e. sulphur!
This is because the hot water here comes from within the earth, from hot geothermal springs.

Do you have your own well? I suspect the water in your area comes from a ground with a lot of sulphur in it and the waters' qualities are dependent on this. Ask your neighbours if they have the same problem.

If it's only the hot water, never mind. Sulphur smells, but it's not dangerous. It does not taste good however, so if your cold water smells, too, I would recommend you not to use it.

On the bright side, over here, it's a "fact" that the sulphurous water is very good for your skin! :)

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By guest (Guest Post) 10/02/2008

When I had that problem at my farmhouse, there was sulfur in the water.

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By Judi 18 939 10/02/2008

Congratulations, you have sulphur in your water. I know this becasue I've had to deal with it in a house we purchased some years back. You have to aerate the water to remove the smell. We did this by going to the pump house and installing an aerator. We got this from a water testing company. Call or go by a place like that and ask. They'll tell you.

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By susan5767 10/02/2008

You don't mention if you have well water or public water. If you have well water and the well has been recently drilled I would have the well thoroughly disinfected by the well driller. Your well may be producing sulphite or sulphate reducing bacteria. Typically chlorination will resolve your problem. If not you may be looking at a water treatment system. Your local health department should be able to help you out. Here in NC this is a very common problem. If you have public water I would check the anode on the hotwater heater. It should be fine but you never know. The hotwater heater is especially suspect if you only have smell in your hot water. With your drains I would check and be sure that the drains have been properly vented. Good luck!

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By Susie From Buckhead, GA (Guest Post) 10/03/2008

You do have sulfur in your water. I had to drink sulfur water when I had a severe Urinary Tract Infection. It was the only thing that would help. The only way I could drink it was ICE cold. I got my water form a spring at a local park. Many people got this water. It's suppose to be very healthy.

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By jen (Guest Post) 10/03/2008

Sounds like well water to me. Our water smelled horrible when we moved in less than a month ago. Once you get the water cycling through the house (I think it took my husband and my use for about a week). It will clear up to almost nothing. Hot water is the worst. We ran the tub and the sink for a couple hours the first couple of days. Now, we also have our well chlorinated once a week. Good luck!

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By melody_yesterday 228 665 10/04/2008

The other day while inspecting the house I want with my realtor the water smelled pretty bad (and it is well water) and we ran every faucet, the showers and tubs in the house the whole time we were there and flushed toilets. She said it was because the water in the tank had sit for quite some time while the house was vacant and to get rid of the smelly water she said that's what she does. It tasted really good when I tried it though!

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By sandy 77 431 10/04/2008

Yes, I agree well water. I had a well in Florida. Sometimes it would smell bad, but mostly it was ok.

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By sheila (Guest Post) 10/04/2008

The smell comes from sulphur in your water. There is no complete remedy that I know of, but a water-softner that uses salt helps a lot. As for the stains, you can clean them with bleach or CLR, but it will permanantly discolor clothing. My friends who have sulphur water in their well have no option for city treated water, so they just have to throw away towels and clothes once or twice a year. However, they do drink the water, it's not harmful and keeping it cold in the frig helps it taste better than straight from the tap. Once you're used to it, they swear, you don't notice the smell or the taste. In fact, they complain about the "clorine" smell in our city water.

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By Beth 25 1,120 10/07/2008

Lots of things can make water smell bad. But if it smells like rotten eggs it's got to be sulphur. You might try a water conditioner.

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By Lisa from Lena, WI. (Guest Post) 10/23/2008

We had the same problem in our last house. Sulfur. We got a treatment system that used 'pool shock'. It would mix water with the pool shock (concentrated bleach) and then go through a carbon filter. The only maintenance was to add a gallon of shock about once a month.

Go to www.diamondh20.com. That is the system we had but I'm sure there are others out there. It was expensive ($1500 in 2000) but worth every penny. After having the stinky water for a few weeks it really was like diamonds coming out of the faucet. Good luck

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By jim 11/09/2008

If you have Well water you may have bacteria in your system. Mix a gallon of bleach with water. 5 to 1 and pour it down your well casing. turn on all of your faucets until you smell the bleach. This will disinfect your system

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By alicia (Guest Post) 12/31/2008

Hey I live in Belleville as well and when we moved into our house it had been empty for about 5-6 mos. We had to empty the hot water heater. Turn on ALL hot water faucets. No cold until the water runs ice cold. This cured our "rotten egg" smell and only cost about 10 bucks on our next water bill. Try this before the treatment stuff.

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