Sulphur Smell in Well Water

I just purchased a rental property and the well water has a strong sulphur smell. My concern is that the house is old and the septic system is within 10 yards of well. Could the septic have compromised the well?


By Vito L.

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April 16, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi - do I understand you correctly - you have purchased a house that you intend to rent out? If that is the case then you will be the landlord.

I believe you should should have your hot and cold water tested just to be sure of what you are dealing with. Many stores have kits you can buy to use to collect water and mail to a testing lab. Most counties have a testing lab also. Not sure of the cost but well worth it for the information you receive.

Many older wells may not be very deep but may still have good water. Sulfur smell is still common in older wells and does not mean there is something wrong with the water. I have some rural property that has a very deep, rather new well, that still has some slight sulfur smell. People who live with it soon grow accustomed to the smell but visitors notice it right away.


Many people say it smells like a water treatment plant and well it might as sulfur is a cleansing agent.

Have your water tested and then find out what is the best course to pursue and then decide how much money you will need to spend to change it (lots!).

Good luck and post back on your progress.

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April 16, 20130 found this helpful

Is the sulfur smell present when running the cold water tap, or just the hot? If present when cold water is running, there probably is a problem with the well pump, and isn't contamination from the septic tank. Trust me, the odor would be different and much worse than a sulfur smell.

A problem with the well pump is your landlord's responsibility. Don't be afraid to threaten to contact the Health Department if the landlord balks at sorting the problem.

If the smell is only present when running hot water, though, then the problem is with the hot water heater, most likely the accumulation of minerals in the tank around the immersion element. It needs to be properly flushed by a professional, and again, this is your landlord's responsibility.

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June 24, 20170 found this helpful

We had hot water smell I asked a lot of people what fixes it is a Aluminum anode rod in your hot water tank will fix hot water odor

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April 16, 20130 found this helpful

Ask the neighbors if they have the same problem (Good neighbors will admit it if they have the problem). They probably do. Investigate a water treatment/water softener system for the property.

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April 16, 20130 found this helpful

My brother has this same problem. When we visit you almost vomit when brushing your teeth because of the smell. He now pours about 1 cup of bleach into the well head and it takes care of the problem.


After testing for the safety of your water, try this. You might even ask your well "carer" about solutions.

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